Buffalo’s Women’s Basketball team was unable to take advantage of its superior height and fell at Northern Illinois 81–75 yesterday. Buffalo is now 11–6 and 8–4 in the MAC, and drops to 5th place in the MAC standings.
Unlike recent games, where the front line was very productive, the Bulls had trouble establishing their big players in the offense and on the boards. Buffalo’s front line was single-handedly outplayed by the Huskies A’jah Davis, whose 17 points and 19 rebounds were more than the entire UB front line combined. Northern Illinois also out-rebounded Buffalo 50–39 (not counting “team rebounds”).
In addition, sophomore guard Dyaisha Fair again struggled shooting, finishing 7-for-29 from the floor, including 2-for-14 from three point land. Unlike the previous game in which Fair compensated for a low shooting percentage by getting to the free throw line often (15 times in the previous game making 14 of them), against Northern Illinois, Fair only went to the line 3 times (making 2).
The Bulls did get some good production from the front line late in the first quarter, with two baskets from sophomore center Elea Gaba and one each from junior forward Ade Adeyeye and junior center Zena Elias, and the Bulls finished the first quarter ahead 25–17. But those three would not score again.
The Bulls would hold onto a five point lead 42–37 in the second quarter, as their guards took over the offense. With 3:42 left, Elias tried to chase a loose ball, and her momentum took her into the Bulls bench area and off the raised platform of the actual basketball court at the Convocation Center. As she tried to return, she got her foot caught under the raised platform, and appeared to be injured. Later, she appeared to be walking normally, but did not return to the game.
After the injury to Elias, Buffalo coach Felisha Legette-Jack used a four-guard lineup the rest of the game (instead of the usual three guard lineup), and the Bulls could only put up 33 points in the second half, while Northern scored 44 the rest of the way. Even so, the game was tied at 61 early in the fourth quarter, and Buffalo trailed by only 3 with 0:59 left, but Chelby Kocher hit a three pointer to make the NIU lead 6, and then two free throws by Davis made the NIU lead 8 with 0:34 left, too much to overcome.
Fair led the Bulls in scoring with 18 points, and added 5 rebouunds, 6 assists and 6 steals. Freshman guard Cheyenne McEvans had 15 points and a team high 10 rebounds (the second straight game for McEvans with double-digit rebounds and led the team). Senior guard Hanna Hall had 9 points on three 3-pointers, and junior guard Jazmine Young (pictured above) had 10 points and 7 rebounds.
- Freshman guard Casey Valenti-Paea hit another three point shot (nothing but net) late in the 4th quarter making her successful on her first two career three point shots. Later, as the seconds wound down, she would miss a three pointer.
- Both McEvans and Adeyeye fouled out. Adeyeye was in foul trouble most of the game and played only 15 minutes, and she has picked up 4 or more fouls in her last 7 games.
- The Bulls shot only 34% from the floor and took 83 shots, compared to 40% and 62 shots for the Huskies. Another big difference was at the free-throw line, where NIU made 21 of 25 attempts, while Buffalo was 10-for-13.
- Buffalo’s next game will be on Wednesday, February 17 at 5pm against Ball State at Alumni Arena (ESPN3). It will be their first home game since January 23.