Hanover, NH – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team defeated Dartmouth 75-69 behind a career-high 24 points from Summer Hemphill in her first game back this season in a contest that featured eight lead changes and 10 ties. The win improves the Bulls record to 7-2 on the year.
The contest was a tight one through the first quarter of play despite Buffalo taking a 10-2 lead early, as Buffalo led just 24-20 at the end of the quarter, shooting the Ball at a 52.6% clip.
The second quarter was one that went back-and-fourth as it featured two lead changes and four ties. Dartmouth would take the lead 34-32 with 2:53 left to play in the half, only to have Bulls open up a four point lead into the half as junior Summer Hemphill converted on a layup as time expired, giving the Bulls a 39-35 advantage into the break. Hemphill had a team-leading 14 points going into the half.
Out of the break, it was Hemphill again who inspired the Bulls' offensive efforts as she added 10 more points to her stat line out of the 17 total points scored by the team in the quarter. The Bulls shot the ball at a 50% clip in the third, going 6-of-12 from the floor during that time as Buffalo led the Big Green just 56-55 after three.
Hemphill, who ended the night with a career-high 24 points, garnered her 11th career double-double of her career as she added 14 rebounds and three steals to an impressive night of work. The game was Hemphill's first back this season after being declared academically inactive during the fall semester.
In the fourth quarter, it was senior leader and captain Cierra Dillard who heated up when the Bulls needed her most. The nation's leading scorer hit a huge three-pointer, extending the Bulls' lead to 69-62 with just 3:38 to play.
Dillard finished with a team-high 26 points, five rebounds, and five assists, going 7-of-18 from the floor and 3-of-7 from three. Dillard has now led the team in scoring in each of the teams nine contests this season.
Dartmouth would chip their way back into it, scoring the next four points and narrowing the Bulls' lead to 69-66 before Theresa Onwuka hit a huge jumper, putting Buffalo up 71-66 with 1:55 remaining. Onwuka finished with a solid 18 points on the night while adding nine boards to her resume as she added to her impressive start to the season to this point.
The Big Green never got closer to taking the lead, missing their next two shots, forcing them to commit fouls the rest of the way and sealing a 75-69 victory for the Bulls.
Though the Bulls shot an uncharacteristically low 62.9% (22-of-35) from the charity stripe, the Bulls outrebounded the Big Green while adding 19 second chance points. Buffalo also bullied the Big Green in the paint, scoring 36 from points under the rim compared to just 24 from Dartmouth.
The Bulls will have to re-shift their focus quickly, as they will return to Alumni Arena after seven straight contests from home as they host the #8 team in the nation, Stanford at noon. The game will mark the first ever meeting between the two programs.