BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team (11-1, 1-0 MAC) got back to their winning ways on Saturday evening in their Mid-American Conference opener against the Miami (OH) RedHawks at Alumni Arena. The Bulls put together a dominant performance against the RedHawks as they earned the dominant 71-45 victory. UB used a 19-0 run at the end of the half and start of the third to give them their program-best 11th win through their first 12 games.
The turning point of the game came in the third quarter as the Bulls were able to outscore the RedHawks 19-9 as Miami was held to just 3-for-14 shooting in the quarter. Buffalo opened the third quarter on a 9-0 run as JoAnna Smith netted a three and a free throw, Katherine Ups drilled a triple and Cassie Oursler made a pretty layup after Katherine Ups found her down low. After Miami cut the UB lead to 16, 43-27, UB had a quick 6-1 spurt as Summer Hemphill made a fast break layup after a Stephanie Reid assist and Ayoleka Sodade made back-to-back jumpers. Gabi Bade finished the quarter with a deep three to give UB the 53-32 edge after 30 minutes as UB was able to get their bench in for the final quarter.
The Bulls opened up the first quarter with back-to-back buckets by Mariah Suchan before the RedHawks responded with a quick three pointer to take the 5-4 lead. The Bulls were able to go on a 8-0 run over the next three minutes as Stephanie Reid finished a layup, JoAnna Smith drilled a three and Summer Hemphill converted on a fast break old fashion three-point play as she made the layup and ensuing free throw. After the RedHawks finished a layup, Theresa Onwuka made a pair of layups to give UB their biggest lead of the quarter, 18-8. Miami ended the quarter on a 5-2 run as the Bulls earned the 20-13 lead after 10 minutes.
The RedHawks were able to start the second quarter on an 8-1 run before Bade drilled her second deep triple of the game to give the Bulls the 24-21 edge. Miami was able to get within 24-23 at the final media timeout of the first half but the Bulls responded out of the timeout. UB closed out the first half on a 10-0 run capped by a fast break three-point play by Reid.
After the huge third quarter for the Bulls, the UB bench was able to make a strong impact on the game in the fourth. UB held the 18-13 edge in the final quarter as Onwuka netted a team-best five points while Brittany Morrison had four points and two offensive boards. Liisa Ups had a great final quarter for the Bulls as she drilled a three pointer while also notching three assists, three steals and two rebounds in the final 10 minutes of action as UB ran away with the 71-45 victory.
The deep Buffalo squad saw all 13 players play at least five minutes while 12 UB players notched at least three points in the MAC opening win. 12 Players were also able to grab at least one rebound while eight Bulls recorded at least one steal.
Reid continued her strong play running the Bulls as she was able to record her second straight game with 10 assists for the first time in her UB career. The Melbourne native also netted five points, two rebounds and a steal in the win. Smith finished off her game with 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals while Onwuka notched a career-high 10 points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal.
For the game, the Buffalo defense got back on track as they held the RedHawks to a season-low 25% shooting while forcing 17 turnovers that UB was able to turn into 19 points off of turnovers. The Bulls were able to win the rebounding battle for the 11th time this season as they grabbed 54 boards while Miami was only able to grab 42 in the loss. The Bulls dominated the fast break scoring 15-2 while also dominating the paint, 32-14.
The Bulls will return to the hardwood on Wednesday night on the road at Ohio as they take on the preseason favorites to win the conference. Tip is set for 7:00 pm on Wednesday night in Athens, Ohio.