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Preview: Bulls look to tie best start in program history with a win over Canisius

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History could be made tonight for UB Women’s Basketball as they try to remain undefeated. If the Bulls can get their second road win of the season at Canisius, they’ll move to 8-0 on the season—tying for the best start in program history. The strong start has also vaulted the Bulls to 12th in the official NCAA RPI rankings.

Canisius is led by long time head coach Terry Zeh. He’s held the mantle for 13 years now and is the winningest coach in Golden Griffins history. Zeh has also led Canisius to its only NCAA Tournament appearance in 2005.

The Golden Griffins are coming off of a lackluster 13-17 season that included a a 54-40 non-conference loss to Buffalo. This year, they’re not off to a great start. Canisius has only managed a 2-5 record with their best win being against St. Bonaventure. Otherwise, the Golden Griffins have two really bad losses to Northeastern and St. Francis (PA).

With their scoring load all on their starters, Canisius has many players to look out for. Most notably, Bulls fans should watch for Sara Hinriksdottir and Saliah Serrette. Hinriksdottir leads the team in scoring at 14.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Serrette can also be a handful to play defense against as she is shooting 58% on the year.

What to watch for

1. A win similar to the Hofstra game

By no means is Canisius a better team than UB. If the Bulls continue the level of consistency that they’re at, they should be able to put the Golden Griffins away without too many problems.

2. JoAnna Smith Watch

Smith will continue to make the steady climb to 1,000 career points. Sitting at 933 after totaling 16 versus Hofstra, she would be only the 19th Bull to ever get to 1,000 points. Now with 133 three-pointers, Smith holds sole possession of 5th all-time from beyond the arc. To reach fourth, she’ll have to pass Kim Coon’s 140.

3. Cassie Oursler

Oursler is looking more comfortable than ever with her role on the team. In two of the last three games she’s had amazing efforts to carry Buffalo to solid wins. Her 18 points and 6 rebounds versus Sacred Heart made it her best game yet. Oursler is also doing an incredible job at drawing fouls and converting free throws into points.

4. Keeping Canisius under 45 points

I think UB’s defense is good enough to keep this team from scoring very little. Should the Bulls manage to keep Canisius under 45 then that’s a huge win for them.

Bottom Line

Bulls shouldn’t have any trouble whatsoever getting this win. With that being said, I think they’re going to get a surprise scare from Canisius today. I’ll predict that UB wins this one 68-62.