For the third consecutive game, freshman guard Georgia Woolley registered a new career high, and Buffalo defeated Eastern Michigan 69–62, for the Bulls second consecutive win. Buffalo is now 13–7 and 7–3 in the MAC (good enough for 2nd place).
Woolley set a career high of 24 two games ago, and then had 26 points in the last game against Northern Illinois. Today, she hit 30 for the first time, shooting 10-for-18 including 5-for-9 from beyond the three point line, and 5-for-5 from the free throw line. She hit a highlight-reel shot at the buzzer ending the third quarter, making a three pointer from way beyond the line. Woolley added six rebounds and four steals. Woolley entered the game leading all MAC freshman in scoring, so I suspect her lead in that category has increased.
Freshman forward Saniaa Wilson, playing in just her second career game, pulled down 14 rebounds (a career high for her). Junior guard Dyaisha Fair was much more aggressive on offense than she has been in the previous several games, starting right off on the first offensive possession, when she blew by a defender for a short range jumper which went in. Fair finished with 24 points, but as in recent games her shooting percentage was low (31%). Fair contributed 6 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Bulls jumped out to an 11–1 lead, and were never really challenged after that, leading the entire game. Whenever Eastern closed to within single digits of the Bulls, Buffalo went on a scoring streak of their own, to keep the lead in the low teens most of the game. The Bulls didn’t help themselves with 22 turnovers (7 by Woolley), but the Eagles returned the favor by only capitalizing on the turnovers for only 10 points.
Buffalo plays next at Central Michigan on Saturday, February 5 at 1pm (ESPN+).
- The game was originally scheduled to be played at 7pm, but because of impending bad weather, the game was moved to a 12 noon start.
- The Eastern Michigan arena used to be called the Convocation Center, but has been renamed to the George Gervin GameAbove Center. I had forgotten that George Gervin played at Eastern Michigan, and now when I think of great players who came out of the MAC, I can add Gervin to that list. I have not forgotten watching Gervin play in the old ABA, where he was a standout player. Gervin, now a Hall-of-Famer, had an unusual nickname due to his smooth, calm cool style of play. They called him “The Next Georgia Woolley”, due to her smooth calm cool style of play. I didn’t understand that nickname back in the 70s, but I sure get it now.
- ESPN announcer Ryan Wooley (no relation to Georgia, their last names being spelled differently) after a very strong first quarter by Georgia, made a point that Georgia was welcome into his family, and throughout the game seemed to get especially excited when Georgia made a big play, more excited than when any other Buffalo player made a big play.
- Do not adjust your TV set: yes, that was junior center Elea Gaba on the Bulls bench, and in uniform! I think it was the first time Gaba was on the bench this year, having had surgery prior to the season. Buffalo coach Felisha Legette-Jack indicated in the post-game interview that she expected Gaba to play next game.
- Do not adjust your TV set, part 2: yes, that was sophomore guard Casey Valenti-Paea in uniform! Legette-Jack also indicate she would be playing soon.
- Both sixth-year forward Summer Hemphill and junior forward Loren Christie saw reduced playing time due to foul trouble. Both fouled out.
- The Bulls would normally return from Ypsilanti to Buffalo after the game, but because of weather issues, they will remain there until traveling to Mount Pleasant for Saturday’s game.