She can do a little of everything and thanks to her late season revival, Katherine Ups helped out a struggling Bulls offense win their first-ever MAC title.
Hometown: Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
New to Buffalo?
In her first season away from her home of Australia, Ups had a small bench role that consisted of about 6 minutes per game, but her sophomore season is what we should take note of. Kat started the season on fire as her offensive production was one of the best on the team along Joanna Smith and Stephanie Reid. Her shooting percentage at the time was also one of the highest. Like the team as a whole, Ups went through a mid-season slump that saw less scoring output than she had shown at the start. Her late season resurgence became crucial for UB to win their first-ever MAC title. Before the buzzer beater that ended the MAC Championship game, she was already the hero thanks to two consecutive clutch three-pointers in overtime that gave the Bulls a lead with less than three minutes to go.
Further Reading and Viewing:
The two sides came out exchanging buckets in the third quarter as Smith tied the score at 36 after a nice feed from Katherine Ups. Ohio was able to take the 43-38 lead with three minutes remaining in the quarter but the Bulls were able to finish off the quarter on a 14-4 run to take the five-point lead into the fourth. Katherine Ups and Smith drilled back-to-back three's to propel the Bulls to the lead entering the final 10 minutes.
The above is to show you how important she was in getting the crucial upset over Ohio last year. She’s a difference maker when it counts.
Katherine Ups. She's absolutely getting lost in this. Prior to Reid's buzzer-beater, my recap was all written to highlight Ups' overtime heroics; a pair of three pointers as the time too-quickly ticked off the clock, and a subtle fake to open a little more of a passing lane to get the ball to Reid on the final play. Things didn't have to go much differently for a different sophomore Aussie to be the crunch-time hero of this one. Going further back, it's worth noting that she played upwards of 30 minutes in each win over Ohio this season.
Take note of that last sentence.
Ups has shown that she can generate offense but the real question is if she can do it more consistently this upcoming season. I would not be surprised to see her close to averaging double figures. Chances are, she’s a starter again and will continue to be important for the Bulls in the most strenuous of situations.