Bulls Fall at Akron, 70-59

Cierra Dillard

AKRON, OH – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team fell at Akron, 70-59 on Saturday. With the loss the Bulls fall to 17-8 on the year, 9-5 in league play.

Cierra Dillard led the Bulls with 23 points, including a career-high 17-of-17 from the free throw line, to go with 11 rebounds, three assists and four steals.

It was an offensive struggle early on, with neither team recording a field goal until the 5:49 mark, as the teams shot a combined 5-of-29 to start, but the Bulls held a 7-6 lead at the media timeout. The Zips then used a mini 5-2 run to take an 11-9 lead after one.

The teams traded baskets and leads to start the second quarter with the Bulls retaking the lead 16-15 at the media timeout but Akron responded as the Zips hit four of their last five shots to end the half on a 10-4 run and take a 25-20 lead at the break. The 20 first half points were the fewest scored by the Bulls in a half this season. Buffalo shot just 6-of-33 (18.2%) from the floor in the first half.  

Akron started strong again in the third quarter, using 8-4 run to take a 33-24 lead at the 6:21 mark. The Bulls put together a 6-2 run on buckets from Summer Hemphill and Finess Dickson to trim the Akron lead to 35-30 at the media timeout but the Zips answered with another 8-4 run to take a 43-34 lead at the end of the third.

The Zips used a mini 5-0 run to start the fourth quarter and take a 14 point lead. Courtney Wilkins drained a three from the wing to cut the Zips lead to 64-53 but that would be as close as the Bulls would get as Akron held on for the eleven point victory.

The 59 points scored is the second-lowest total by UB this season. The Bulls shot just 28.1% (18-64) from the floor and 16.7% (2-12) from beyond the arc, while giving away 20 points off of 21 turnovers.

Hemphill recorded eight point and six rebounds, while Dickson and Wilkins added seven points each for Buffalo.

With her 23 points, Dillard now has 622 on the year, surpassing last season's total of 566 and moving her into third place in program history for points in a season. The senior also moved into 12th place on the UB career scoring list.

Buffalo wraps up the three-game road trip at Ohio on Wednesday, February 27, at 7 p.m.