After a strong first half, the University at Buffalo Women’s Basketball held off a surge by Eastern Michigan to come away with 73–68 victory. Buffalo is now 7–2 and 4–0 in the MAC, and has a five game winning streak.
Buffalo took a 16 point lead at halftime, with strong play in all phases of the game. Buffalo shot 50% while holding EMU to just 27% shooting. They out-rebounded EMU 19–11 (not counting “team rebounds”) and dominated in the paint. Sophomore center Elea Gaba had 7 points and sophomore guard Dyaisha Fair had 10 points.
A common theme this year has been a weak third quarter for the Bulls, while the opponent comes storming back. And so it was against EMU. The Eagles suddenly found their offense, and scoring well off of fast breaks and also scoring well in the paint, they cut Buffalo’s lead to 2, 47–45, with 0:44 left in the third quarter, forcing Buffalo coach Felisha Legette-Jack to call a time out. Then a three pointer by freshman guard Cheyenne McEvans put the Bulls up by 5 to end the quarter.
McEvans would open the fourth quarter with six straight points sandwiched around a basket by EMU’s Ce’nara Skanes put the Bulls up by 7. Fair, who had been benched by Legette-Jack during that late 3rd quarter time out after Fair had taken two wild shots, returned with 7:11 left in the fourth quarter and made a step-back three pointer, but EMU again fought back to close within 1 point at 62–61.
And then it was DFT — “Dyaisha Fair Time”. Fair took over the Bulls offense and scored the team’s last twelve points, beginning with a free throw and then a three pointer on the next possession. In that streak, Fair would go 9-for-10 from the free throw line.
Fair finished with 29 points, including three three pointers and 14-for-16 from the free throw line. She also had 5 rebounds. McEvans would tally her career high with 17 points, to go along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Gaba had 9 points, and sophomore forward Loren Christie had 7 points and a team-high 8 rebounds.
Buffalo plays Central Michigan next, on Saturday, December 9 at 1 p.m. at Alumni Arena.
- The Play of the Game™ came with 2:11 left in the fourth quarter, and Buffalo leading 65–61. The Buffalo defense knocked the ball away from EMU’s Jenna Annecchiarico and while the ball was at her feet, Buffalo senior guard Hanna Hall dove onto the floor, gained control over the ball and with several EMU players grabbing for the ball, Hall called time out.
- Junior forward Ade Adeyeye, who suffered a shoulder injury a few games ago, still hasn’t returned to the level of effectiveness that she showed before the injury. In 10 minutes of playing time against EMU, she only had one rebound and did not score (and in fact did not attempt a shot).
- Two years ago against EMU, Buffalo’s Cierra Dillard set a school record with 43 points, to lead Buffalo to a 91–84 victory in overtime. Not to be outdone, EMU’s Danielle Minott also had 43 points.