It was the return to Alumni Arena for Summer Hemphill, her only appearance at Alumni Arena this season, and it was her goodbye to Alumni Arena as well. After missing a large part of the season due to injury, senior forward Summer Hemphill started for the UB Women’s Basketball Team on Senior Night, and was expected to play limited minutes. Instead, she played 26 minutes, recorded a double-double (10 points and 10 rebounds) and made an important block and grabbed an offense rebound in the game’s final minutes, to help Buffalo secure a 75–70 victory over Miami.
Hemphill look as mobile and athletic as we remember her during her four years, moving well with the ball and without the ball. Hemphill gave notice to all that the old Hemphill was back, as she jumped at center court to start the game, won the jump ball for UB, and on the game’s first possession, she drove down the lane for a layup. Fast forward to the waning seconds of the game, Buffalo ahead by 4, and Hemphill blocked a 3-point attempt by Miami’s Abbey Hoff, freshman guard Cheyenne McEvans rebounded and was fouled immediately. McEvans missed the 2nd free throw, but Hemphill grabbed the offensive rebound to effectively end the game.
For senior guard Hanna Hall, there wasn’t much to talk about until with 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter, when Hall made a key free-throw to push the lead up to 4, making it a two-possession game.
Buffalo had earlier opened up leads of anywhere from 7 to 9 points during the game, only to see Miami come back time after time, to either take the lead of trail by one possession. Still, the Bulls never trailed in the second half and led by 8 in the fourth quarter with 1:52 left. Two Miami 3-pointers sandwiched around some UB free throws cut the lead to 3 with just 0:12 left, but then Hall’s free throw and Hemphill’s block and rebound sealed the victory.
Sophomore guard Dyaisha Fair had a team high 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting. She also had 7 assists. McEvans scored her career high 20 points (on 7-for-12 shooting), making some very tough and athletic shots, and added 9 rebounds and a team high of 3 blocked shots. Junior forward Ade Adeyeye had 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting, plus she had seven rebounds.
Buffalo is now 13–8 on the season, and 10–6 in the MAC, and as things stand at the moment, they occupy 5th place in the MAC (but the MAC standings will update later tonight, so that might change), and have clinched a spot in the MAC Tournament. UPDATE: Buffalo is now in 4th place in the MAC, as of the morning of March 4. They have one more game left in the regular season, Saturday, March 6 at 2pm at Bowling Green (ESPN+).
- Sophomore forward Loren Christie returned to the court after missing 9 games due to a knee injury. It would appear that every player on the roster is now available to play, as the Bulls head into the final game of the season and into the MAC Tournament.
- Spectacular basket by Fair: at 4:53 left in the 4th quarter, and with UB leading by 1, Fair drove the length of the court, blew by Miami defender Peyton Scott, saw another defender in her path, picked her dribble up, switched hands with the ball, and then scored a left-handed circus shot and got fouled. Are you kidding me?
- Not quite as spectacular, but still spectacular: early third quarter, Hemphill with the ball beyond the arc, tries to dribble into the paint, sees a double-team in front of her, and hits a cutting Adeyeye for an uncontested layup.