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Preview: Buffalo Bulls Women’s Basketball faces another tough MAC matchup with hopes to return to form

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Buffalo Bulls vs. Ohio Bobcats

7:00 PM
Alumni Arena, Amherst, NY


Radio: ESPN 1520

Riding a two game mini-slump where they lost to the two best teams in the conference, Buffalo Bulls Women’s Basketball looks to get back on track with a home game against the Toledo Rockets. Toledo is currently playing at the level of a top tier MAC team.

Leading the Rockets out of the tunnel is Tricia Cullop. As she continues her ninth year at the helm of the once mid-major powerhouse, Cullop has compiled a 98-39 record in MAC play. Five times have her teams at least made the Mid-American Conference Semi-finals and she has been named MAC Coach of the Year three times.

The Rockets enter this matchup with an 11-3 overall record and with a 2-1 MAC play mark. The Rockets challenged themselves in non-conference play, falling to #6 Notre Dame and #17 UCLA respectively. Those matchups are going to go a long way to help them out. Toledo’s only other loss is to another quality MAC program in Ball State—meaning that this isn’t a team to mess around with.

The Rockets have an incredibly deep bench at their disposal. UT has 12 players that can score the ball and will rival UB in this regard. Toledo’s led by Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott and Mikaela Boyd. Bravo-Harriott adds 13 points and 3.7 rebounds per contest to the table. Boyd is the second best contributor with 10.9 points and 6.5 rebounds a contest.

What to watch for

1. Facing UB’s carbon copy

This team has a lot of similarities to UB. The bench is deep, they’ve only got about 70 points of offense in them, and they’re defensive minded. If you like defense, chances are this is going to be a very fun game to watch. It’ll be interesting to see how UB fares against a team that shares a lot of strengths and weaknesses with them.

2. Tuning up and getting back on track

UB faced their toughest road trip when they had back-to-back games versus Ohio and Central Michigan. Watching this team made me feel as if they lost track a little bit with these losses. Their defense wasn’t nearly as aggressive and they were shying from the type of game they were playing so far this year. I’d like to see a return of what they’ve consistently done this season.

We don’t need to speed up the tempo to beat the like of Ohio and CMU in the future. We don’t need to wow teams on offense. Just do what’s destroyed a lot of teams in non-conference.

3. Turnovers

We haven’t harped much about turnovers with this team because they’ve been able to win games. But, it’s a problem. In five of the last seven games, the Bulls have turned the ball over 18 times or more. Let’s hope for that golden 9-11.

4. Defensive pressure

I mentioned it above, but I really want to see a return to form with the defense more than anything else. It’s my favorite thing about this team. There’s nothing more satisfying then seeing the opponents brick shots from beyond the arc.