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Bulls in the Pros — Cierra Dillard

Cierra Dillard
ubbulls.com

Cierra Dillard finished her career at Buffalo in 2019 as the nations 2nd leading scorer that season, and then became the only UB Women’s Basketball Player to be drafted by the WNBA. Unfortunately, she never made a WNBA roster, and has been playing internationally since. In Dillard’s two years at Buffalo, she helped the team reach the NCAA tournament in each year, and led the team to a Sweet 16 appearance, the only UB team to appear in the Sweet 16 in any sport in its Division I history.

Dillard plays for Yalova VIP Gençlik, a team in the second Turkish League, known as the TKBL — Türkiye Kadınlar (which means Women’s) Basketbol Ligi. Yalova VIP finished the season 6th out of 16 teams, but advanced to the league championship final series, eventually losing 3–0.

Dillard had a banner season, leading the league in scoring at 25.5 points per game, and shooting 47% from the floor, 39.6% from 3 point land, and 80.6% from the free throw line. She average 6.9 rebounds per game, 5.9 assists per game (fifth in the league — excuse me, I meant fifth in the Ligi), 2.7 steals per game (also fifth in the Ligi) and only 2.1 fouls per game.

Dillard surpassed 30 points 8 times during the season, with a high of 37 (twice), and double-digit scoring in every regular season game. She had 13 double-doubles, including a game with 35 points and 16 rebounds in February. In the first round of the playoffs, Cierra scored 29 and 32 points and Yalova VIP won the series 2–0. In the second round, she poured in 33, 29 and 29 points in three wins, and only 12 points in Yalova VIP’s one loss. And then in the finals she was held to just 14 points in the first game and did not play the rest of the series.

Yalova is a city in Turkey about 20 miles south of Istanbul, on the coast of the Sea of Marmara, with a population of about 100,000 people. Yalova was at different times part of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire.