It's been a tough five games for the Women's basketball team. After a stretch where the team looked progressively worse in each outing, the team looked much better. The team traveled to DeKalb, Illinois this weekend to take on the Northern Illinois Huskies. The Huskies came into the day as the best rebounding team in the conference. Despite this, they had their own losing streak of seven games. The entire game was an uptempo battle and the Bulls unfortunately fell short late and lost this one 76-74.
The first quarter was quite a surprise for a team that has struggled the last few games. The tempo started out quick and UB experienced some much needed balance on the scoring side of things. For the final three minutes of the quarter, the Bulls started playing some better defense and kept the score knotted up at 20. In the second quarter, Buffalo clamped down on the defensive side and ran away with a nice lead thanks to a 13-0 run. But, NIU continued to fight back after some turnovers and the half ended with UB leading 42-37.
The opening of the second half was much of the same. Uptempo ball ruled the court and UB's offense continued to roll. NIU wouldn't give up though as they took advantage of fast break opportunities. Joanna Smith was the story here as she started raining three after three pointer. By the end of the third, Smith already had a double-double. NIU made things tricky when the fourth quarter came around. The Huskies went on a late 12-0 run and and cut the lead to 3 points with 5:30 remaining. The game soon turned into a nail biter. A botched three late in the quarter by Stephanie Reid allowed NIU to run the floor and take a one point lead with 12 seconds remaining. Reid would redeem herself after drawing a foul and hitting clutch free throws. Unfortunately, an NIU buzzer beater kept the Buffalo losing streak alive.
At the end of the day, Joanna Smith finished a strong day with a career high 31 points. She also had 14 rebounds in her double-double effort. She even helped move the ball around a bit with 3 assists. Cassie Oursler and Courtney Wilkins also had great games. They both finished with 10 and 12 points respectively.
The next time we see this team will be back on home court this Wednesday as Buffalo takes on Ohio. The game will be televised on TWCS and ESPN3 at 7:00 PM. More on this game will be posted later.