Stuck in a rut for three games, UB Women’s Basketball desperately needed a win against Miami (OH) to get back on track. That they did, because the Bulls found a way through the freshman duo of Summer Hemphill and Theresa Onwuka to rout Miami 61-58.
Buffalo’s first half looked as if they couldn’t find a way out of the rut that had set them back in the last three games. The Bulls shot at a poor 32% and could not take care of the ball for the life of them. When UB lost to Toledo in their previous game, Coach Jack agreed that teams that turn the ball over 20 times a game don’t win. UB had 14 in the first half alone today and it looked like the result of this game would be much like the loss to Toledo because of it.
The Bulls are definitely thankful that Miami is a bad team as they went into the half with a slim 30-29 deficit. The third quarter rolled around and Buffalo continued to give up shots to Miami as their offense stagnated. UB looked down for the count for the fourth game in a row.
But then the Bulls caught fire.
The UB team that went 11-1 to start this season was far from perfect. The offense still went through droughts and they almost blew games late, but there is one reason that separated this team from a year before.
They fixed their problems in-game.
It was missing at Ohio, at CMU, and vs. Toledo; but UB finally got out of the in game rut that they were having. At 7:36 left in the third quarter, Summer Hemphill ignited an offensive performance we haven’t seen in a while.
Along with JoAnna Smith, Summer Hemphill lead the Bulls to an 18-1 run that not only retook the lead from Miami, but kept it for good. Hemphill got to the line, laid it in, and even hit some jumpers. She was unstoppable.
The offense kept coming from there as Smith continued to help out and another UB freshman Theresa Onwuka got in on the party. After being down at halftime looking lost, UB Women’s Basketball won this game through effort and treating the second half as a way to start anew.
The improvement in the final twenty minutes was obvious as they shot 44% (something this team has a tough time doing), destroyed on the glass, and even minimized the turnovers with 9.
The Bulls move to 2-3 in the MAC and it’s safe to say that they can start over now from this point. If the team that shows up in the second half today is around for all of MAC play, they’ll win the conference. We’ll see how they react when they face a tougher opponent.
UB was lead by JoAnna Smith’s 22 points. With each game she’s looking better and it looks like we’ll get the dominant force she was back. The other two big stars were the freshmen duo. Both Summer Hemphill and Theresa Onwuka compiled double-double performances to help out the UB comeback. Hemphill had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Onwuka had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Smith has helped elevate this program, and it looks like she’s leaving it in good hands when she graduates this year.
Buffalo will now head up North to Bowling Green to take on the Falcons on Wednesday. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN3 and tip-off is slated for 7:00PM.