Before and in the early going of this afternoon's game against Duquesne, it was clear that to win UB Women's Basketball would have to find a way to nullify the 6-1 Dukes' height. Using a quicker pace than the Bulls are used to, the visitors scored 38 points in the paint in their 79-62 win.
UB hit the half with a four point lead, but the warning signs were clear: Buffalo survived from distance, shooting 6-10 on three pointers, including three from Gabi Bade and two from Courtney Wilkins. UB actually had an eight-point lead in the final minute, but gave up a late surge. And most importantly, the Bulls benefited from a long stretch in which Duquesne point guard April Robinson and forward Kadri-Ann Lass were stuck on the bench with two fouls apiece.
Lass and teammate Amadea Szamosi, both 6-3, presented a problem for the young Bulls, whose tallest player, freshman Mirte Scheper, is still learning how to use her size. The pair of forwards combined for 42 of the Dukes' 79 points Strong shooting from the line and beyond the arc helped UB for a stretch in the first half, but in ten minutes bridging the break Duquesne executed a 26-point swing with a massive third quarter that handed them control of the game.
Bade's hot stretch keyed a career high for the freshman, who led Buffalo with 16 points, while point guard Stephanie Reid finished with 14. Brittany Morrison pulled down 7 rebounds in just 14 minutes to lead the home team, though she saw the bulk of her time in the fourth quarter. Distressingly, four Bulls committed three or more turnovers and UB shot just 12-37 from inside the arc and only earned seven free throws in the second half.
That's the game in a nutshell: when UB earned fouls and hit the big shots, they rolled, but when Duqesne played more cleanly, they kept their best players on the floor and were largely unchallenged.
The women fall to 6-2 on the season and next head on the road to face St. Bonaventure this Wednesday at 7:00 PM.