By now, everyone knows who will lead the UB women’s basketball team in scoring. That’s sophomore guard Dyaisha Fair. But its never certain if there will be a second big scorer for the Bulls, and having such a second big scorer is usually an important piece in securing a win.
That second big scorer was senior guard Hanna Hall, who scored 16 points, including four three-pointers, and Hall added in 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Hall had been taken out of the starting lineup in the previous game, in favor of freshman guard Casey Valenti-Paea, who was appearing in just her third game for the Bulls. Hall returned to the starting lineup today and responded with a big performance to help the Bulls defeat Ball State at Muncie, Indiana 83–76, in a game that will have a big impact on the MAC standings (more on that later).
Hall leads the Bulls in 3-point shooting percentage, but this was Hall’s first double-digit scoring performance in exactly one month, and the first time she had four three-pointers in over a month. But none was bigger than her three-pointer with 8:58 left in the fourth quarter, when she received a pass from Fair with 2 seconds left on the shot clock and nailed the shot to give Buffalo a 63–60 lead, a lead they would never relinquish.
Fair not only tied her career high with 36 points, but she had one of her most efficient games ever, and as always stuffed the stat sheet. Specifically, this is what Fair did:
- 11-for-23 shooting, well above her recent FG pct
- 4-for-8 from beyond the arc
- 10-for-12 from the free throw line
- led the team with 8 rebounds
- led the team with 5 offensive rebounds
- led the team (tied) with 3 defensive rebounds
- led the team with 7 assists
- led the team with 4 steals
- led the team in turnovers with ... wait for it ... one turnover
- and just for good measure, she did not commit a foul
- I feel compelled to mention that Fair had 0 blocked shots
The Bulls fell behind by 11 at half-time, and got outplayed in areas where the Bulls usually excel — rebounding and defense. Add in 35% shooting, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. But the second half was DFT — Dyaisha Fair Time. Fair had 15 points and three assists in the third quarter, and Buffalo shot 62.5% to tie the game at the end of three quarters at 60. She would score another 10 points in the fourth quarter. Fair’s most important play came late in the fourth quarter, with 0:44 seconds left and the Bulls up by 7, Fair single-handedly dribbled 26 seconds off the clock.
For the entire game, the Bulls committed just three (not a typo) turnovers, including one “team turnover”. That unheard of! Could that be the program record? I don’t know. (I also don’t know what a team turnover in basketball is, but there is one in the box score.)
- Buffalo entered the game in fifth place in the MAC standings, just percentage points above Ball State. Had Ball State won, Buffalo would drop to sixth place, so the win keeps Buffalo ahead of Ball State. The top eight teams advance to the MAC tournament.
- Freshman guard Cheyenne McEvans scored 12 points
- Junior center Zena Elias set her career high with three blocks.
- Elias, sophomore center Elea Gaba and junior forward Ade Adeyeye all finished the game with four personal fouls, limiting their minutes.
- Buffalo next plays at Kent State on Wednesday, February 24 at 6pm (ESPN+)