As the UB Women’s Basketball team enters the final week of the regular season, they have been playing some of their best basketball. Now at nearly full strength, the team has put together three straight double-digit wins, and has won 9 of their last 10.
Yesterday, the Bulls defeated Kent State 82–64 to make their record 20–8 and 14–4 in the MAC. The win yesterday moves the Bulls closer to clinching the #2 seed in the MAC Tournament.
The team now has a much deeper bench than a few weeks ago, and one of the benefits is that if one of the usual big three scorers has a sub-par game, someone else usually steps up and take up the slack. Against Kent, that “someone else” was junior forward Loren Christie, who entered the game averaging 5 points a game, and scored 12 points in the first quarter on 6-for-6 shooting. One of them was a very unusual left-handed hook shot, made after an up-and-under move to get past a defender. Also in just the first quarter, Christie added 4 rebounds and 2 blocks. No other Bull had more than three points in the first quarter.
Although Christie would not score after the first quarter, her effort propelled the Bulls to a 19–14 lead. The Bulls then ran away from Kent State in the second quarter, taking a 44–24 lead, as two of Buffalo’s other big scorers took over. Sixth year forward Summer Hemphill had 7 points in the second quarter, and junior guard Dyaisha Fair scored 12 in the second quarter. The Bulls shot 71.4% from the floor in the second quarter.
Another weak third quarter start by Buffalo allowed Kent State to cut the lead to 11 points, as the Bulls shot poorly in the third quarter, just 29.4% from the floor and 1-for-6 from the free throw line. Then the Bulls out-scored Kent to push the lead back to 16 at the end of the third quarter, led by Fair, who finished the quarter with a three point shot that is the Play of the Game™. With time running out, Fair caught a pass from freshman guard Georgia Woolley at about her waist, and instead of raising the ball above her head in a normal shooting motion, Fair knew she had to shoot quickly, and shot the ball from around her waist, an extremely high arcing shot. The buzzer sounded while the ball was in the air and then went through the basket.
Fair finished with 28 points. Fair now has 27 or more points in 5 of her last 6 games. Fair is currently the MAC’s leading scorer and fourth in the nation. This season, 5 of the top six individual scoring games in the MAC belong to Fair.
Hemphill finished with 15 points and 18 rebounds, giving her 37 rebounds in the last two games. Hemphill is the MAC’s third leading rebounder.
Missing from the double-digit scoring was Woolley, who scored only 9 points on 3-for-14 shooting. This was the first time in nearly two months that Woolley had not recorded double-digit points.
Buffalo next plays at Akron on Wednesday, March 2 at 7pm (ESPN3). Akron is currently in third place in the MAC, a win over Akron by Buffalo would clinch the #2 seed for the Bulls.
- Toledo has clinched the #1 seed into the MAC Tournament.
- Buffalo coach Felisha Legette-Jack was able to empty her bench with about two minutes left and Buffalo leading by 23. Junior guard Nia Jordan scored her first basket in over a month.
- Buffalo finished shooting over 50%, and scored 42 points in the paint.