POST GAME INTERVIEW - COACH JACK
OXFORD, OH – Senior center Cassie Oursler notched her second straight double-double to lift the University at Buffalo women's basketball team (19-4, 10-2 MAC) to a strong road victory over the Miami (OH) RedHawks on Saturday afternoon, 64-49. For the second straight game, the UB defense held their opponent to under 50 points and under 30% shooting as UB is now 25-0 over the past two seasons when holding their opponent to under 60 points.
With the win, the Bulls improve to a program best 19-4 overall record and 10-2 MAC mark. Buffalo also improved to 8-4 this season on the road.
After a slow start that saw the RedHawks get out to the 4-0 lead, Katherine Ups was able to connect on a triple and Cassie Oursler made her first field goal of the game to make the score 6-5 in favor of the home team. After a free throw from Miami, the Bulls were able to go on a 9-2 run to take the 14-9 lead as Oursler made a pair of shots and Katherine Ups connected on her second triple of the opening quarter. Cierra Dillard finished off the scoring in the quarter for the Bulls with a pretty floater in the lane before Lauren Dickerson hit a desperation triple at the buzzer of the first quarter to send the game to the second with UB leading, 20-17.
The Buffalo defense really picked up their intensity in the second quarter as they were able to hold the RedHawks to just six points in the quarter. Both sides were able to score four points just over two minutes into the quarter before the Bulls defense started to lock down their opponents. Over the final seven minutes of the first half, UB went on a 9-2 run as Mariah Suchan finished off a layup, Dillard drilled a triple and Hemphill finished off a layup opportunity to make the score 33-23 at halftime.
The third quarter was a tightly contested one both ways as the defense continued to be strong on both sides as UB won the quarter 13-12. The RedHawks opened the quarter on a 6-2 run before Theresa Onwuka and Reid each finished off layups to make the score 39-29. After a Miami free throw the Bulls went on a 6-0 run to force a RedHawk timeout as Dillard collected a steal and fed Reid who finished off the fast break layup, giving UB the 44-30 lead. Miami finished off the quarter on a 5-2 run to send the game to the fourth with UB up 46-35.
After the RedHawks opened the fourth with a jumper, Reid and Autumn Jones knocked down back-to-back three pointers to force a Miami timeout and give the Bulls the 52-37 lead. Miami tried making a run during the middle of the quarter as they notched a jumper to make the score 58-44. Reid wouldn't let the RedHawks get any closer down the stretch as she attacked the rim and made a pair of freebies and fed Hemphill for a fast break layup to put UB up 62-44. The Bulls held on down the stretch and earned the 64-49 victory.
Oursler had a huge game for the Bulls on Saturday as she recorded her second straight double-double with 14 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks across 33 minutes. Oursler notched two straight double-doubles for the first time in her UB career.
Reid had another strong game at the point for UB as she notched a team-high 16 points, six assists and three rebounds while going 5-for-8 from the floor. Hemphill continued her strong play with 10 points, nine rebounds and a block while Dillard did a little bit of everything, finishing with nine points, six assists, six rebounds and three steals in the win. Katherine Ups finished with eight points, three rebounds and two steals while off the bench Mariah Suchan had two points and four rebounds.
As a team, UB improved to 15-0 on the season when shooting a higher percentage from the floor than their opponent as the Bulls shot 42.4% while holding Miami to just 28.6% including 9.5% from behind the arc. Buffalo posted another win in paint scoring, 36-22, as UB has now won the battle in the paint in 19 of their last 20 games. UB won the battle on the boards once again as they outrebounded Miami 50-36. The Bulls grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and turned those into 14 second chance points.
Buffalo will return home on Wednesday night for a showdown with MAC west unbeaten Central Michigan inside Alumni Arena at 7:00 pm. The matchup against the Chippewas will air on ESPN3 as well as on the radio on ESPN1520 with Matt Mattia on the call starting at 6:30 pm with the UB Women's Basketball Pre-game show.