BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team was able to open the 2017-18 campaign with a dominant 64-32 exhibition game victory over the Bloomsburg Huskies. The Buffalo defense was able to hold the Huskies to 29.7% shooting for the game while forcing 39 Bloomsburg turnovers.
The key to victory for the Bulls on Friday night was the effort of their defense as they were able to force 39 turnovers and turned those into 45 points on the offensive end of the court. The stingy defense also was able to limit the Huskies to just 29.7% shooting including 14.3% from behind the arc.
The Bulls opened the game quick as they were able to go on a 9-0 run through the first three minutes of play. Cassie Oursler netted five points while senior point guard Stephanie Reid chipped in with four points of her own before the Huskies notched their first bucket of the game. Courtney Wilkins extended the UB lead to 15-2 with a nice jumper from the corner and the Huskies closed to quarter with a layup to give UB the 15-4 lead after 10 minutes.
Oursler was able to open the second quarter with four free throws to extend the lead to 19-4 but the Huskies responded with a 5-0 run of their own to make the score 19-10 in favor of the Bulls. Megan Brandt made a fast break layup to make the score 21-11 in favor of UB but the Bulls went on a quick 6-0 run to give Buffalo their biggest lead of the half. Katherine Ups netted four points while Oursler chipped in with a layup of her own. Bloomsburg closed the half on a 6-4 run to send the game to the locker room with UB leading 31-17.
The Huskies came out of the locker room with back-to-back layups by Taylor Montana but the Bulls were able to respond with a 12-2 run of their own, mainly in transition, to make the score 42-23. Oursler sparked the run with seven points while Marissa Hamilton drilled a jumper and Cierra Dillard made an acrobatic layup in transition after a steal to give the Bulls the 19-point lead. After the Huskies hit a three, Buffalo scored nine straight as Katherine Ups netted five to give the Bulls the 51-27 edge through three quarters.
With the game in hand heading into the fourth quarter, the Buffalo bench was able to get into the action and the defense was able to hold Bloomsburg to just five points in the quarter. Autumn Jones opened the quarter with a nice layup before Liisa Ups drilled a three to give UB the 31-point lead. Summer Hemphill closed out the game with four straight points in the final minute to seal the Bulls 64-32 victory in the exhibition opener.
Oursler had a strong game as she was able to net a team-high 20 points on6-for-11 from the floor and 8-for-11 from the charity stripe while also grabbing seven rebounds. Reid finished off her night with 12 points, four assists and two steals as she went 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Katherine Ups played 13 minutes and she was able to notch nine points, four rebounds, four steals and two assists in the win.
For the game, the Bulls shot 31.7% from the floor and 76.7% from the free throw line. The Bulls were able to win the points off turnover battle 45-5 while they turned 18 offensive rebounds into 15 second chance points. Buffalo looked good out in transition as they outscored the Huskies 14-2 in fast break scoring and 32-14 in paint scoring.
The Bulls will now prepare for their regular season opener a week from today as they welcome the Delaware Blue Hens to Alumni Arena for a 1:00 pm game on Friday.