As March draws closer, Buffalo Bulls Women’s Basketball finds themselves in a spot where they need to get back to playing like they were in February. Tonight, the Bulls will travel to Ypsilanti, Michigan to face an Eastern Michigan team that has struggled in the first year of the Fred Castro era. At this point, Buffalo is locked out of a MAC Quarterfinal bye and all they can do now is get better for tourney time unless if they get a lot of help from other teams in the conference.
Eastern Michigan lost their head coach to UMass following last season and hired Fred Castro, an up and coming coach in the women’s basketball ranks. It hasn’t been an easy transition for Castro as the Eagles have only managed to win five games this year. Even more crushing, only one of those wins came in conference play to Bowling Green.
The Eagles lost a lot of talent last year, making it perfect timing for head coach Tory Verdi to jump ship. This year hasn’t gone well for the Eagles, but next year will be a breakout year with transfers from Syracuse, Kansas, and Cincinnati. But, the Eagles still have players that can score the ball for now.
Four players average in double figures for EMU with 5-8 guard Sasha Dailey at the forefront with 16.5 points per game. Phillis Webb is another prolific scorer with 14.8 points per game and also manages to get after the boards with 8.5 a game. Dailey in particular has had an inconsistent last four games, which could be a good chance for the Bulls to shut down a leading scorer for old times’ sake.
This is a game that Buffalo shouldn’t lose, and if they do, they’re in big trouble. The biggest thing the Bulls need to happen is to get back to the basics and play 40 minutes of defense. In the past five games, the Bulls have won the rebounding battle just once and by a slim four board margin.
We’re no longer concerned if the offense can get the job done. Surprisingly, that’s been the strength of this team as of late (JoAnna Smith is an absolute machine). Buffalo’s late run to win a MAC Championship was founded upon defense, and that’s what they need if they want to beat the uptempo juggernauts of the conference.
Tonight at 7:00PM, we’ll see if the Bulls get can get back on track.