BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team picked up its third straight win, defeating Ball State 77-65 Wednesday night at Alumni Arena. Senior Cierra Dillard led the Bulls with 21 points, seven assists and three steals as UB improved to 11-4 on the season and 3-1 in league play.
"That's what we do it for," head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. "As a mom, to hear them laugh, to hear them really leave it out there and to play hard and then at the end to have that laughter in the locker room, that's what I do it for."
The teams traded baskets early before the Bulls went on a 7-0 run, capped by a Dillard three-pointer to take a 25-15 lead with 2:33 to play in the quarter. The Cardinals cut the lead to six after five straight points from Thelma Dis Agustsdottir but UB responded with an 8-0 run of their own to take a 33-19 lead at the end of the first. The 33 points tied a season-high for the Bulls for points in a quarter, matching the 33 scored in the third quarter against Canisius.
It was more of the same for the Bulls offense in the second as Dillard got things going with an and-one to put UB up 15 early in the quarter. After a back and forth middle of the quarter, Marissa Hamilton drilled one of her two three's on the night to put the Bulls back up by 16. Buffalo closed the half on a steal and fastbreak layup by Theresa Onwuka to put UB up 49-33 at the break.
Ball State kept within striking distance to start the third but the Bulls used a 10-3 run with buckets by Onwuka, Dillard and Summer Hemphill to take a 21 point lead with 2:49 to go in the period and would lead 66-49 through three quarters of play.
The Bulls took their largest lead of the game on a Hemphill fastbreak layup to take a 22 point lead with 8:38 to go and it would be all Buffalo from there to seal the victory.
Thirteen players saw action for the Bulls on the night. In addition to Dillard's 21 points, Onwuka scored 16 points, while adding six rebounds and three steals and Hemphill had a breakthrough double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a block. The eight points for Hamilton was a career-high for the sophomore.
Buffalo outshot Ball State from the field and from beyond the arc, shooting 42.0% and 34.4%, respectively, while outrebounding the Cardinals 48-44.
Buffalo heads back out on the road on Saturday as they travel to Kalamazoo, Michigan to take on Western Michigan at 2 p.m.