Last we saw Women's Basketball in action, the Bulls kicked a three-game skid by getting back to their strengths; holding Niagara to .738 points per possession and getting 26 points from Joanna Smith, who now averages 15 points per game.
How much that game is sign of UB turning a corner and how much it was the Bulls catching a Purple Eagles team who could not ride just six players to a full forty minutes but in the early going held Buffalo to just four points in the first quarter we'll see in tonight's nonconference finale on the road against the Northeast Conference's Sacred Heart Pioneers.
Sacred Heart - like the Purple Eagles - comes to face Buffalo sitting on a dismal overall record (2-8), though a number of their losses have come against tougher competition. The pair of wins, each by nine points, have come against Binghamton and Coastal Carolina, where the Pioneers held former Bull Rachael Gregory to just two points in 18 minutes.
Coming off a massive loss to Penn State, Sacred Heart is still averaging nearly 60 points a game, but on 69 possessions, and allow their opponents an average of eight extra shots a night, built on a significant deficit on the offensive glass. The Pioneers have a handful of players in the regular rotation who can capitalize on UB's weaknesses against height, however. Shooting 44% inside the three-point arc, SHU is led by 6-0 guard-forward hybrid Hannah Kimmel and 6-0 forward Alissa Tarsi, who combine for 27 points a game. Guard Adaysha Williams also averages double digits.
There is perhaps hope for UB's fate against in the post. Not only has Mariah Suchan grown into a more consistent rebounder, but tonight marks the debut of transfer center Cassie Oursler, who to the Bulls brings physicality and low post experience that UB maybe hasn't found yet from freshman Mirte Scheper. I'll have more on Oursler later this afternoon.
Tip off is at 7:00 PM, simultaneous with the Men's game. Sloane Martin's broadcast on 1520 will be tape-delayed to follow that contest, but she tells us on Twitter that she will run her own set up for a live broadcast.