The UB Women’s Basketball Team has started 5–0 in the MAC for the first time since joining the conference, by defeating Akron 76–59 at Alumni Arena last night.
A very shorthanded Bulls team only saw 6 players take the court, but all six of them had strong performances, and the Bulls ran away from Akron in the fourth quarter. Fears that the team was shorthanded, all six players were playing a lot of minutes and playing a lot of games in a short time (because of COVID re-scheduling) would turn into fatigue and foul trouble did not materialize.
In fact, the Bulls did a remarkable job of staying out of foul trouble, picking up just 9 fouls in the entire game. In the last few games, it seems as if head coach Felisha Legette-Jack has turned down physicality on defense to keep the team out of foul trouble. The Bulls still played strong defense, using quickness and athleticism (but not physicality) to stymie the opponents, picking up plenty of steals, deflections and blocked shots against Akron, holding the Zips to just 59 points. Buffalo out-rebounded Akron 50–31.
On offense, the team also used brilliant passing and strong shot selection to shoot 46.5%. Three pointers not falling — no problem, the team just dialed back on the three pointers and used their advantage in the paint. (Buffalo was 1-for-12 from beyond the arc). Buffalo scored 52 points in the paint. The Bulls also picked up 19 assists. Certainly a well-played game for the Bulls, but also a smartly played game.
Although there’s no statistic for “brilliant” passes, the Bulls had their season high in that category according to my informal observations, starting on the very first possession, when senior forward Summer Hemphill found herself in traffic in the paint and made a perfect bounce pass to senior forward Ade Adeyeye, who was cutting to the basket and made a layup.
Adeyeye picked up 16 points on 8-for-10 shooting, and 10 rebounds, her second double-double of the season and tying her career high in points. Hemphill had 8 points and 9 rebounds, plus 5 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks. Senior guard Dyaisha Fair had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Freshman guard Georgia Woolley had 17 points and 10 rebounds, giving her double digit scoring in 9 of her last 10 games. Junior forward Loren Christie, who has not put up big numbers recently, had 11 points and 13 rebounds, plus 3 blocks. And junior point guard Dominique Camp, normally not a big scorer, contributed with 7 assists and 2 steals.
Buffalo plays at Toledo on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 2pm (ESPN+), in a battle of two teams that are undefeated in conference play.
- The official box score showed junior guard Nia Jordan played less than 1 minute. I don’t think she got into the game ... she was sent to the scorer’s table late in the first half, and then she went back to the bench without entering the court.
- Fair has been named to the mid-season watch list for the Becky Hammon award, given to the country’s best mid-major player. Fifteen players are on the list. This is the third straight year Fair has made the list.
- After a very nice play by Woolley, ESPN announcer Kevin Sylvester called it a “mammoth play from Woolley”. (Get it? See what he did there?)