KALAMAZOO, MICH – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team defeated Western Michigan 61-59 on a buzzer-beating basket by Summer Hemphill on Saturday afternoon.
After trailing by as many as 14 points early in the third quarter, the Bulls stormed all the way back and tied the game 59-59 with 28 seconds to play. On the following possession, Western Michigan's Deja Wimby's shot missed and the Bulls called a timeout. Having to go the length of the floor, Cierra Dillard heaved the ball up to Hemphill who caught it and laid it in as time expired to give Buffalo the win.
"I grabbed Cierra late in the game and said, you keep playing and God's going to have something for you," head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. "You have to stay locked in and focused. Then on that last play I was going to have Brittany take it out but I saw them come up so I told Cierra to take it out. We took a chance and there it is."
Dillard's third assist of the night proved to be the biggest, but that pass was developed as a young kid.
"Great teams find a way to win through adversity," Dillard said. "What Western Michigan didn't know was when I was younger all three of my brothers played football so in order to hang out with them I had to learn to throw the ball. I guess it paid off today."
Western Michigan on an 8-0 run to start the game but Buffalo answered with 12-5 run over their own, eight of them coming from Dillard, to cut Broncos lead to one at media time out. The Broncos shot 50% from the floor, 3-of-5 from beyond the arc in the opening frame.
After a back-and-forth to start to the second quarter, Finess Dickson jumpstarted the UB offense, assisting and scoring on two fastbreak baskets to cut Broncos lead to 24-23. Western Michigan would answer and led 33-26 at the break.
Despite shooting just 1-of-10 from beyond the arc in the third quarter the Bulls trailed by only 10, 51-41, at the end of the third quarter. But the fourth quarter belonged to the Bulls as they outscored the Broncos 20-8. Clutch free throws by Brittany Morrison and Hemphill twice tied the game down the stretch before Hemphill's game-winner.
The Bulls were outshot on the night but dominated the glass, winning the rebounding battle 48-33 and shot 11-of-14 from the charity stripe.
Hemphill led all scorers, collecting a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Dillard chipped in 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals and Morrison added a double-double of her own with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Bulls return home to Alumni Arena for a two-game home stand, beginning on Wednesday as they host Akron at 7 p.m.