FULL GAME NOTES (.PDF)
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo women's basketball team (1-0, 0-0 MAC) will return to Alumni Arena on Monday night as they will welcome the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks for a non-conference game. Buffalo will be looking to improve to 2-0 for the third straight season, something that has never been done before in program history. Tip is set for 7:00 pm on Monday night and the game will air live on ESPN3 with Paul Peck and Amy Audibert on the call.
Monday's game can also be listened to on ESPN1520 as Matt Mattia will get you started for the 7:00 pm tip with the pre-game show starting at 6:30 pm.
BUFFALO RETURNS HOME ON MONDAY NIGHT
The Bulls will be looking for their third straight 2-0 start to the season on Monday night when they welcome the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks to Alumni Arena at 7:00 pm. The Bulls are coming off of a dominant 87-73 victory over Delaware on Friday afternoon while the Hawks downed Valley Forge 92-38.
UB WINS HOME OPENER ON FRIDAY
The Bulls opened up their 2017-18 campaign strong on Friday afternoon as they were able to earn the 87-73 victory over Delaware in front of the home fans at Alumni Arena. The high tempo Bulls were able to score 87 points, their most in a game in over a year. Buffalo had four players score in double figures in the season opening win led by junior Cierra Dillard who notched 17 points, six assists and six steals in her first career game for the Bulls. Stephanie Reid started off her season strong as she netted a double-double with 16 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and four steals while Cassie Oursler netted 14 points and Courtney Wilkins scored 16 points off the UB bench. The Bulls forced 23 turnovers by the Blue Hens and turned those into 29 points.
The Bulls have been dominant over the past four seasons against non-conference foes as they own a 33-12 overall record in non-conference tilts. UB was dominant a season ago in the non-conference portion of their schedule as they went 10-1 including a 10-0 start to the season, a program record. Over their last 12 non-conference games, Buffalo has outscored their opponents by 12.2 points/game as they averaged 69.2 points while shooting 40.8% from the floor. The UB defense also held seven opponents to under 60 points in non-conference play.
HOME SWEET HOME
Alumni Arena has been nice to the Bulls over the past four seasons as UB owns a 40-17 record in front of their home fans. Buffalo started 2017-18 with a strong win at home after they wrapped up their 2016-17 campaign with a 13-4 record at home, a program record for wins since joining the MAC in 1998-99. Buffalo was also able to start the season 8-0 at home for just the second time since joining the MAC. Over the past four seasons, UB is averaging 67.3 points/game while limiting their opponents to just 59.9 points/game at Alumni Arena.
AIMING FOR 2-0 START..AGAIN
After opening the season with a strong 87-73 victory over Delaware, the Bulls will set their sights on a 2-0 start to the season for the third consecutive season. The Bulls have never started the season 2-0 in three straight seasons as they have been 2-0 to startthe season just 15 times in program history. Buffalo has started each of the last two seasons at least 6-0.
RUNNING WITH THE BULLS
Buffalo turned into one of the best teams in the country out in transition a season ago and with the athleticism on the roster this year, UB is sure to be near the top of the nation in fast break scoring. They got off to a fast start on Friday as the Bulls outscored Delaware 17-0 in the fast break. Buffalo has been able to win or tie the fast break scoring category in 29 of their last 33 games over the past two seasons inclduing in 22 of their last 23 wins. Buffalo owned the 270-111 edge in fast break scoring last year and own the 17-0 edge so far this season.
REID 'EM AND WEEP
Senior point guard Stephanie Reid has turned into the best floor general in the MAC over her impressive four-year UB career. The Australia native got her senior campaign started with a great performance in the win over Delaware on Friday as she notched a double-double with 16 points, 11 assists, five rebounds and four steals across 38 minutes. Reid's defense led the charge for the Bulls on Friday and she now holds the program record for assists in a season opener with 11 helpers. The senior heads into her final campaign looking to leave her mark throughout the UB record books as she has already set the program record for assists in a season with 233 a season ago. Last season, Reid posted career-highs in points (11.5), assists (7.3), rebounds (3.1) and steals (2.0) while also tying the program record for assists in a single game with 16 against Ball State. She finished the season ranked tied for 5th in the NCAA in assists/game (7.3) and 8th in assist/turnover margin (2.9) while also notching seven games with 10+ assists, a new career-high. Reid closed out her junior campaign scoring in double figures 22 times while breaking the 20-point plateau a career-best four times. Defensively, Reid earned All-MAC Defensive Team honors for the second straight season as she averaged a career-best 2.0 steals/game while recording at least one theft in 26 of 32 games and two or more steals in 17 games. She enters the season ranked 2nd in program history for career assists (481) and 7th in free throw percentage (75.9%).
DILLARD DAZZLES IN BUFFALO DEBUT
The much anticipated Buffalo debut for UMass transfer Cierra Dillard went just about as well as any fan could have hoped on Friday afternoon. Dillard put on a show for the home fans as she led all players with 17 points, six assists and six steals while going 6-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-7 from behind the arc across 29 minutes. With her 17-point effort, Dillard has now recorded 800 career points as she is just beginning her junior season. The Rochester native used her great basketball instincts to get in passing lanes all game long as she recorded a team-high six steals. Dillard's flashy passing ability and shooting ability were on full display on Friday as she has filled the void left by the departure of JoAnna Smith and will surely become a fan favorite inside Alumni Arena this season.
Fifth-year senior center Cassie Oursler will be leaned on heavily in the post this season and the 6-3 local product is more than ready to tackle that challenge. Oursler opened up her senior season with a very effective and efficient games for the Bulls as she netted 14 points on 6-for-9 from the floor while also notching four rejections across just 17 minutes of work. The Grand Island, NY native is coming off of a strong junior campaign that saw her average a career-best 9.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while playing just 19.5 minutes/game. Last season, Oursler had 13 games with at least two blocks while notching at least one rejection in 24 games including each of her final nine games. With an improved fitness level this season and a new offensive game plan, the senior will be looking to exploit her opponents not only down low but in the open court.
WILKINS LIGHTS IT UP OFF THE BENCH
Junior sharpshooter Courtney Wilkins had a great game off the Buffalo bench in the season opening win over Delaware as she netted 16 points on 6-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-9 from behind the arc. Wilkins was the most reliable bench player on Friday as her shooting got the Buffalo offense rolling in the second quarter. She also finished off her game grabbing five rebounds and two steals in 23 minutes of work. The Australia native will be a key component off the bench for UB this year as her three-point shooting ability is among the best in the MAC.
A pair of sophomores, Summer Hemphill and Theresa Onwuka, saw playing time off the Buffalo bench on Friday and they produced for the Bulls. Hemphill played 21 minutes off the bench and finished with six points, four rebounds, four blocks and two assists as her athleticism caused the Blue Hens some problems. Onwuka had a very effective game as she played 11 minutes and finished with four points, five rebounds and an assist. Both players saw major minutes during their freshman campaigns as Hemphill averaged 21.3 minutes, 6.0 points, a team-best 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while Onwuka logged 17.2 minutes, 5.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals. Hemphill tied for the team lead as she notched four double-doubles and earned All-MAC Freshman team honors while Onwuka netted three double-doubles of her own.
SHOOTING FOR THE STARS
One of the keys to success for the Bulls over the past couple of seasons under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack has been shooting a better percentage from the floor than their opponents. The Bulls were able to open the season with a win as they shot 44.8% from the floor compared to just 36.7% by Delaware. With the win, UB improves to 35-2 over the past three seasons when they shoot a higher percentage from the floor than their opponent.
TURNING THEM OVER
The pesky Buffalo defense turned in a solid effort in the season opening win over Delaware on Friday as they were able to force 23 Blue Hen turnovers. The Bulls were able to turn those 23 turnovers into 29 points of their own as they outscored Delaware 29-17 off of turnovers. UB was 12-4 last season when committing less turnovers than their opponent and are 1-0 so far this season.
JO NO MO
The Bulls will be looking to replace their leading scorer and one of the best shooting guards in program history this season as JoAnna Smith graduated in the spring. Smith averaged a team-best 17.2 points last season while finishing her career ranked sixth in program history with 1,395 career points. The lethal outside scorer also became the second UB player under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack to earn a professional contract following her career as she signed to play professionally in Portugal this season.
EXPERIENCED SQUAD RETURNS FOR UB
Heading into the 2017-18 campaign, the Bulls will be returning one of the most experienced rosters in the MAC as they have a total of five seniors and 10 upperclassmen who have notched a lot of playing minutes in their careers. The Bulls rank second in the MAC in career minutes returning as UB returns 12,413 minutes of experience. Senior point guard Stephanie Reid is the most experienced returner for the Bulls as she has notched 2,720 career minutes running the UB offense.
1. Miami - 13,782 7. NIU - 9,661
2. BUFFALO - 12,413 8. BGSU - 8,073
3. CMU - 11,567 9. Ball St. - 6,852
4. WMU - 10,848 10. EMU - 6,452
5. Kent St. - 10,795 11. Akron - 4,964
6. Toledo - 10,590 12. Ohio - 3,877
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The strength of the Bulls over the past two seasons has been their defense and that strong defense has helped UB earn back-to-back 20 win campaigns. The Bulls stingy defense led the MAC a season ago as they allowed just 61.6 points/game while holding their opponents to 37.5% shooting from the floor and 28.5% from behind the arc. UB is 45-8 over the past two seasons when holding their opponents to under 70 points and 19-0 when holding their opponents to 50 points or less. A season ago, UB was 17-0 when holding their opponents to 59 points or less.
This Buffalo squad is jammed full of experience and it starts with their senior class of five players, Stephanie Reid, Liisa Ups, Katherine Ups, Mariah Suchan and Cassie Oursler. This senior class has accumulated 62 victories together and with seven more wins this season, they will become the winningest senior class since the Bulls joined the MAC in 1998-99.
UB PICKED ATOP MAC EAST FOR SECOND TIME
For just the second time in program history, the UB women's basketball team was tabbed by MAC coaches to win the MAC East regular season title. The Bulls receieved a program record 10 first place votes, finishing way ahead of second place Kent State in the polls. Buffalo was also able to garner one vote to win the regular season MAC championship and one vote to win the MAC Tournament championship.
REID EARNS SPOT ON ALL-MAC EAST SQUAD
After a career year during her junior campaign, point guard Stephanie Reid was able to garner some preseason praise as she was named to the All-MAC east team for the second straight season. Reid joined Carly Santoro of Bowling Green, Jordan Korinek of Kent State, Lauren Dickerson of Miami and Taylor Agler of Ohio on the squad.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
Buffalo will welcome three newcomers to the squad this season after graduating just one senior from last seasons 22-win team. Junior Autumn Jones transfers to Buffalo after spending the past two seasons at Pensecola State Junior College where she averaged 9.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals during her sophomore campaign. UB will also welcome a pair of freshman in point guard Hanna Hall and forward Marissa Hamilton. Hall comes to Buffalo from nearby Hamilton, Ontario where she played at Lincoln Prep. Hall spent the summer of 2017 playing for the U19 Canadian National team, guiding them to their first-ever Bronze medal at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Italy. Hamilton joins the Bulls after a successful high school career at Ellicottville high school where she averaged 21.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals during her senior season.
BACK-TO-BACK 20 WIN SEASONS
Since head coach Felisha Legette-Jack took over the reins of the program prior to the 2012-13 campaign, the Bulls have turned into one of the premier teams in the Mid-American Conference. UB is 90-70 under Legette-Jack's watchful eye as they have accumulated at least 17 victories in each of the past four seasons and 19+ wins in three straight campaigns. Posting 22 wins a season ago, the Bulls have now notched back-to-back 20+ win seasons for just the second time in program history and the first since joining the MAC.
A SEASON TO REMEMBER
The 2016-17 season for the UB women's basketball team is one of the most impressive seasons in program history as they posted a 22-10 record, second most wins in the Bulls division I history and most since joining the MAC in 1998-99. Buffalo started the season in impressive fashion as they set the program record for best start to a season going 10-0 before suffering their first loss in the final non-conference game of the season. The 10-1 non-conference mark is also a program record. After gathering a 10-8 conference mark, the Bulls were able to advance to their second straight MAC semifinal game for the first time in program history but fell short, losing to eventual MAC champions, Toledo. Despite the 22 wins and beating multiple teams in the NIT field, Buffalo was denied of a postseason NIT berth.