BUFFALO, NY – Behind some stingy defense and strong shooting from the floor, the University at Buffalo women's basketball team (2-0, 0-0 MAC) was able to collect the dominant 76-41 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore on Monday night in front of the home fans at Alumni Arena. With the win, Buffalo improved to 2-0 for the third straight season, marking the first time in program history the Bulls have done so.
The Bulls defense proved to be the difference in the game on Monday night as they were able to force 31 turnovers by the Hawks while also holding the visitors to just 22.2% shooting from the floor. The optimistic Buffalo defense turned the 31 turnovers into 36 points.
Buffalo was able to open the game quick due to strong defense as they raced out to the 9-1 lead about halfway through the opening quarter. Mariah Suchan was able to drill a triple and Summer Hemphill hit back-to-back layups to get the Bulls headed in the right direction. After the Hawks connected on their first field goal of the game in the sixth minute, the Bulls were able to go on a quick 10-0 run to take the 19-3 lead as Theresa Onwuka scored six straight points in the run for the Bulls. UB closed the quarter with a layup from Brittany Morrison to take the 21-4 lead. The four points allowed in the first quarter are the fewest UB has allowed in any quarter in program history.
The Hawks began to settle into the game in the second quarter after Liisa Ups began the quarter with a three-pointer. Maryland Eastern Shore responded quickly with a 10-0 run to get back within 26-14 with 6:57 left in the first half. Buffalo responded nicely to the quick spurt by the Hawks as they closed out the half on a 13-5 run, capped by a three-pointer with nine seconds remaining in the half from Cierra Dillard.
The Bulls came out strong out of the locker room and put the game away as they were able to outscore the Hawks 21-8 in the third. Senior Katherine Ups contributed with a pair of offensive rebounds and put backs to extend the UB lead out to 25 midway through the third quarter. Junior Autumn Jones got free and drilled a three-pointer to give the Bulls the 52-26 edge and the Bulls never looked back. Suchan closed out the scoring in the third with a jumper to give UB their biggest lead of the night, 62-26.
Both sides were sloppy in the fourth quarter as UB was able to hold the 14-12 edge in scoring as they were able to cruise to the 76-41 victory. Morrison had a strong presence in the fourth quarter and Marissa Hamilton was also able to get on the scoreboard as she connected on her first career triple in the victory.
Hemphill had another strong performance off the Buffalo bench on Monday as she was able to net a season-high 12 points on 5-for-5 from the floor while also recording her second straight four-block effort while grabbing two rebounds and a steal in just 11 minutes of work. Onwuka was a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the charity stripe as she netted 11 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal across 10 minutes of action.
Oursler had another strong game in just 17 minutes of action as she netted 10 points and two rebounds while Suchan ripped down a team-best nine rebounds while chipping in with seven points and three steals across 17 minutes. Katherine Ups produced five points, six assists and three steals in 12 minutes while Brittany Morrison finished off her night with eight points, nine rebounds and two blocks in her first action of the season.
The Buffalo bench was dominant as they were able to outscore the Hawks bench 49-16. The Bulls continued their strong transition game as they held the 13-2 edge in fast break scoring as they have combined to outscore their first two opponents 30-2 in the fast break category. UB also owned the paint on Monday as they outscored Maryland Eastern Shore 34-14 while also outrebounding the Hawks 49-40.
Buffalo will now have nine days off before returning to the court on Thursday, November 23 as they take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the first round of the San Juan Shootout in Daytona Beach, FL. The Bulls and Cornhuskers will tip off at 4:15 pm inside the Ocean Center.