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Bulls run away from Akron

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ubbulls.com

Welcome to the Zena Elias show!

While a number of Bulls players shined brightly as Buffalo overcame an early 16 point Akron lead to win by 22, junior center Zena Elias (pictured above), to use a theatrical expression, stole the show. Elias has gone on one of the most spectacular rebounding rampages in recent memory. Against Akron, she pulled down 16 rebounds (a career high) in 29 minutes of playing time, and in the last four games, she has 46 rebounds in 87 minutes of playing time. This is truly Sam Pellom territory.

To put this further into perspective, Elias had only 10 rebounds during her first two years as a Bull, and a career high of 3 rebounds prior to the last four games. For her career before the last four games, she had 26 rebounds in 93 minutes of playing.

Elias scored 11 points, also a career high (and her first career double-double), adding an exclamation point by knocking down a jump shot from just inside the three point line late in the game. She finished 5-for-7 from the floor, and showed surprising mobility around the basket on several of her scores.

As the Bulls opened up a large lead late, there was one more exclamation point in store. Freshman guard Casey Valenti-Paea made her debut for Buffalo late in the game. Buffalo coach Felisha Legette-Jack says she will remind people of Stephanie Reid, but a better three point shooter. So, would the play be designed to get Valenti-Paea an open shot on the wing? You betcha! Valenti-Paea launched her first career shot, a high arcing shot from behind the three point line in front of the Buffalo bench. Nothing ... but ... net!

Of course, there was the usual from sophomore guard Dyaisha Fair, filling up the box score with 24 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steal. Sophomore center Elea Gaba had her second straight game where the defense couldn’t handle her in the paint, with 15 points in 19 minutes, shooting 5-for-11 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the free throw line. Junior forward Keowa Walters and sophomore guard Jessika Schiffer each had 8 points.

Notes:

  • The Bulls are now 10–5 for the season and 7–3 in the MAC. Their next game is Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 1pm against Eastern Michigan at Alumni Arena.
  • Freshman guard Cheyenne McEvans returned to the court after missing the last three games due to injury.
  • Including a very slow start, Buffalo finished shooting 41% from the floor, while they held Akron (who had a very hot shooting start) to 33% shooting.