Buffalo Bulls Women’s Basketball has been breezing through most of their opponents to start this season. Their matchup with the Central Florida Knights was no different. After a slow start in the first quarter, Buffalo found their pace and are still undefeated on the season after beating the Knights 66-65.
A storyline this year has been Buffalo’s ability to come out of the gate running and put up a sizable first quarter lead. Call it jitters, awful play in general, or that UCF’s coach has worked with Coach Jack before but the Bulls started the first quarter in struggling fashion.
UCF opened up with a full court press on the Bulls and that surely phased them. Buffalo was unable to find any looks on offense, let alone ball movement thanks to UCF’s ability to trap Stephanie Reid in bad situations. If it wasn’t for UB’s ability to play aggressive defense and crash the boards, this game could’ve been awful to start out with.
With half of the first quarter gone, the score was only 4-2 in favor of the Knights. Finally, with the addition of Courtney Wilkins to the floor, Buffalo started to find some offense. Wilkins’ three-pointer started giving the Bulls momentum and just as the quarter ended, Gabi Bade hit a buzzer beating three-pointer.
The second quarter saw the Bulls in a much more comfortable position on offense and total domination from Mariah Suchan. With three and a half minutes left in the second quarter, Katherine Ups found an and-one opportunity. After missing her free throw, Suchan took the rebound away from the Knights and put the ball back for two. Suchan hit two more layups before the quarter ended.
Reminiscent of the first quarter, Buffalo capped off the second quarter with a buzzer beater—this time from JoAnna Smith. Buffalo went into the half with a 30-18 lead.
The second half opened up with the duo of JoAnna Smith and Stephanie Reid. Smith’s opening jumper kept the Bulls in good shape while Reid contributed two shots after that. Halfway into the third quarter, Buffalo had stretched out a crushing 38-21 lead. UB’s defense had become too much for UCF to handle.
Buffalo trampled over the Knights to start the final ten minutes. Courtney Wilkins’ jumper and Theresa Onwuka’s cut to the basket would all but seal the game. UCF would claw back into this though giving the Bulls a real scare in the final minutes fighting free throw for free throw. The Bulls would finally be able to put this one away as the buzzer sounded.
JoAnna Smith lead the Bulls with 15 points on a night where 10 Bulls scored points. Mariah Suchan and Stephanie Reid were big for the Bulls as well with their 12 and 10 points respectively.
With the win, Buffalo moves to 6-0, matching last season’s start. The win also moves Allen Greene 1-0 all time over former UB AD and current UCF AD Danny White all-time. The Bulls are back in action this Sunday for a noon tipoff versus Hofstra. The game will be at home and broadcasted on ESPN3.