I don't want to talk much about this right now.
Three games ago, the recipe for UB Women's Basketball to climb into the top four of the conference was to take care of business against the bottom of the conference and get at least one of their three games against WMU, Akron, and Ohio. After the win over Western, I was feeling pretty good, but this afternoon's 78-68 loss to the last-place Miami RedHawks is a huge step back.
A top-four seed is still possible, but the Bulls are headed to Ohio, who have eviscerated all comers from the arc, on the heels of surrendering 8-10 shooting against Miami. Even from inside the arc, the RedHawks were 18-40, easily finding shots against the UB defense.
It was really a very similar situation to the recent Kent State win: The Bulls fell down in the first half, showed gumption in the second, but couldn't take full advantage of a ridiculous number of fouls in part because they couldn't stop shots. Right now the Bulls defense is all-or-nothing going for turnovers.
Individually, Mackenzie Loesing (25 points), and Christa Baccas (12 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 steals, 40 minutes) had tremendous games, but that was pretty much it. Alexus Malone scored a bit late, but she and Kristen Sharkey combined for just 14 points on 3-17 shooting.
Karin Moss this week embodied her entire season; despite stellar numbers against Kent she scored 0 points on just two shots and committed four fouls in seven minutes today. Stephanie Reid actually had a decent day, with nine points, five assists, and two steals, but she's not going to carry the offensive load for a struggling team this season.
This one bothers me so much more than the turnover-riddled loss at LIU-Brooklyn earlier in the season. Once upon a time, UB was a great MAC defense, and late in the season they've been picked apart by Kent State and Miami in consecutive games. I was surprised in particular not to see Coach Jack deploy a full-court press earlier in the game. UB had sparked comebacks against Cornell and other OOC opponents with the press, and when they did today against one of the youngest teams in the country, it generated ten points in 70 seconds to pull UB within five.
Despite that momentum, it was too late to count on missed free throws, and the RedHawks closed it out. They're going to be a scary team in the next few years, but they shouldn't have been today.
It's not quite a must-win with another game against Akron yet, but UB could help their case win a big way can make a statement in their next game, as Wednesday they'll head to Ohio to take on the conference-leading Bobcats. Ohio's lost only twice this season and is the likely #1 seed when all is said and done. The Bobcats topped UB in Buffalo, 61-50, in the conference opener way back in January.