Bulls Wrap Up Road Trip at Ohio on Wednesday

Bulls Wrap Up Road Trip at Ohio on Wednesday

Buffalo (17-8, 9-5 MAC) vs. Ohio (22-3, 11-3 MAC)

February 27, 2019

Convocation Center – 7 p.m.

Bulls on the Air

Radio – ESPN 1520-AM WWKB/TuneIn App

Television: ESPN+

BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo women's basketball team concludes its three-game road trip on Wednesday as they travel to Athens, Ohio to take on the Ohio Bobcats. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 with Marty Bannister (pbp) and Jacki Windon (color) announcing, and broadcast on ESPN 1520 WWKB and TuneIn Radio with Matt Mattia announcing.


TODAY'S STORYLINES

• The contest will mark the 41st meeting all-time between the two teams, with the Bulls holding the series advantage 21-19. The Bulls are 6-2 in the last eight meetings with the Bobcats dating back to 2016. UB dropped its first meeting with the Bobcats on January 5th in the MAC opener 71-74 in overtime.

• The Bulls are 3-3 against MAC East opponents this season.

• Buffalo is coming off of a 70-59 loss at Akron on Saturday. Cierra Dillard scored 23 points, including a career-high 17-of-17 from the free throw line, to go with 11 rebounds, three assists and four steals. The 59 points scored was the second-lowest by the Bulls this season.

• Dillard has scored 20+ points in 22 of the last 25 games and is averaging 24.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.9 apg and 3.0 stls/gm. The senior is currently third in the nation in scoring.

• Dillard was named one of 10 candidates for the 2019 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, recognizing the top shooting guard in women's NCAA Division 1 college basketball.

• The senior was also named MAC East Player of the Week on February 12th. It was the fifth weekly honor for Dillard this season.

• Dillard was placed on the Wade Trophy watch list to begin the season, marking the first UB player in school history to earn a spot on the prestigious list.


GAME 25 RECAP: AKRON

• The University at Buffalo women's basketball team fell at Akron, 70-59 on Saturday.

• The 20 first half points were the fewest scored by the Bulls in a half this season, while 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.

Cierra Dillard led UB 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.

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

• Dillard moved into 12th place on the UB all-time scoring list.


PREVIEWING OHIO

• The Ohio Bobcats enter Wednesday's contest against the Bulls with a 22-3 overall, 11-3 MAC record on the year.

• The Bobcats are coming off a 69-67 win at Kent State on Saturday.

• Ohio is led offensively by sophomore guard Cece Hooks who is averaging 17.3 points per game while pulling down 5.2 rebounds and dishing out 4.4 assists per game.

• Erica Johnson (14.0 ppg), Amani Burke (13.0 ppg), Gabby Burris (12.3 ppg) and Dominique Doseck (11.5 ppg) are also averaging in double figures.

• As a unit, the Bobcats rank first in the league and 10th nationally in turnover margin (6.2) while also ranking first in the MAC and 22nd in the nation in scoring margin (14.5).

• Ohio also leads the league in scoring offense (80.1 ppg), three point field goals made per game (10.1) and steals per game (10.7), and rank second in field goal percentage (.445), three-point field goal percentage (.368) and blocks/game (3.4).

• Bob Bolden is in his sixth season as head coach of the Bobcats. Boldon came to Athens after spending the last three years of his head coaching career at Youngstown State. In 2014-15, Boldon led Ohio to a MAC Regular season and Tournament Championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament, Ohio's first since 1995.


TURNING THEM OVER

• The Buffalo defense is forcing an average of 20.0 turnovers/game across 25 contests.

• As a team, Buffalo is second the MAC and ranks 33rd in the NCAA in turnovers forced this season.

• The Bulls are also averaging 10.4 steals/game so far this season while netting an average of 21.0 points/game off of opponent's turnovers.

• Against cross-town rival Canisius, the Bulls were able to force a season-high 32 Golden Griffen turnovers while only turning over the ball 13 times. Buffalo was able to turn those turnovers into 32 points on the way to an 84-66 victory.

• Against #3 Oregon, UB was able to force 19 turnovers by the Oregon Ducks and they turned those chances into 25 points in the loss. The UB defense forced preseason All-American Sabrina Ionescu to commit a season-high seven turnovers.


RUNNING WITH THE BULLS
• The Bulls are excelling in the open court this season, outscoring opponents 330-197 in the fastbreak category.

• Buffalo has held opponents to no fast break points four times this season, while recording at least two fast break points in 24 of 25 contests.

• Over the past two plus seasons, the Bulls have won or tied the fast break category in 76 of their 91 games, including 61 of their 67 wins.


HOME SWEET HOME
• Since Legette-Jack took over before the 2012-13 season, the Bulls hold a 64-29 (.688) record at home across 93 contests.

• Over the last two plus seasons, UB is 27-6 at Alumni Arena. Last year, Buffalo finished a perfect 12-0 at home overall and 9-0 in conference play.

• On the flip side, Legette-Jack's Bulls are 72-55 (.567) on the road or on neutral ground during her tenure.


MACtion
• After seeing two of its teams advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament a year ago (Buffalo, Central Michigan), the Mid-American Conference continues to gain respect on the national stage as four teams are currently ranked in the Mid-Major Top-25 - No. 7 Central Michigan, No. 10 Ohio, No. 15 Miami (OH), No. 16 Buffalo

*Receiving votes: Toledo, Kent State, Northern Illinois

**As of February 19, 2019


YOUNG BULLS

• Buffalo is tied with Ball State for the youngest roster in the MAC with six true freshmen.

• Buffalo's six freshmen rank as the fifth most freshmen on a NCAA Division I women's basketball roster in the country. Only 18 teams have more the Buffalo's six. 


DILLY DILLY

• Senior Cierra Dillard is in her final season in a Buffalo uniform and the ultra-talented guard has accumulated 1,971 career points across her stops with UMass and the Bulls. She currently has 622 points on the year, surpassing last year's total of 566, and moving her into third place in program history for points in a single season.

• Dillard set a program record with 43 points against Eastern Michigan on January 9, 2019, besting the previous mark of 39 set by Brittany Hedderson in 2011.

• Dillard became the fastest player in UB history to get to 1,000 career points, doing so in just 53 games. She is Buffalo's 25th 1,000 point scorer and one of only four to reach that milestone in less than 100 games.

• Dillard now has 1,188 points in a UB uniform, moving her into 12th place on the all-time scoring list.

• So far this season, Dillard has been nothing short of great for the Bulls as she has scored 20+ points in 22 of 25 contests this season, including a stretch of 11 straight 20+ point efforts, and four 30+ point performances (Oregon, Georgetown, Eastern Michigan and Kent State). Dillard is currently third in the nation in scoring, averaging 24.9 points per game for the Bulls through the first 25 games of the season.

• The senior captain has led the Bulls in scoring in 22 of 25 games this season and is averaging 24.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 3.0 steals while connecting on 38.2% of her shots and an impressive 79.7% of her free throw attempts on the year.

• Against #3 Oregon, Dillard out produced preseason All-American Sabrina Ionescu as she posted a game-high 32 points, five assists and four rebounds against the #3 team in the country.

• Across her career, Dillard has produced at least one steal in 56 of 58 games and recorded multiple steals in 45 games. She matched a career-high with seven thefts in a win over Central Michigan on February 16, 2019.

• The crafty passer has recorded at least one assist in each of her 59 career games while recording 5+ helpers 15 times this season. She has also led the team in assists 35 times during her UB career.

• Dillard has led the Bulls in scoring 41 times since joining the program while going over the 20-point plateau a team-high 33 times. The Bulls own a 24-9 record when Dillard scores 20+ points.


SUMMER TIME IN BUFFALO

• Junior forward Summer Hemphill made her first return to the court since last March on Dec. 18th against Dartmouth.

• Hemphill is currently averaging 14.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game on the season.

• The Buffalo, NY native has recorded nine double-doubles on the year, including eight of the last 13 games.

• In her 2018-19 season debut, the versatile scorer knocked down a career-high 24 points on the night while adding 14 rebounds to her stat line on her way to her 11th career double-double performance.

• Hemphill tied her career-high with 24 points, including a career-high 10 field goals, and 10 rebounds in a victory at Ball State.


TAKING OVER THE REINS AT POINT GUARD

• With the departure of the Bulls all-time leader in assists, Stephanie Reid, UB needed to find a replacement at the point guard spot and it appears as though they have found their floor general in sophomore Hanna Hall.

• Hall returns for her second year with the Bulls and looks poised to take over the starting duties after earning the start in 22 of the Bulls 25 games this season.

• The Hamilton, ON native is currently averaging 26.1 minutes, 6.3 points, 2.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game.

• The sophomore point had the best game of her career at Eastern Michigan (1/9/19) as she went 6-of-9 from the floor and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc on the night, finishing with a career-high 20 points. She also added three rebounds, three steals and an assist to her impressive stat line.

• Hall came up big in the MAC opener against Ohio, connecting on a season-best four three-pointers, including two to tie the game late, finishing the game with 12 points, 7 assists, two rebounds and three steals across 44 minutes of work.


ONWUKA TURNING HEADS IN STARTING ROLE

• Junior wing Theresa Onwuka has been a strong bench player for the Bulls across her first two seasons with the squad but she has embraced her new role as a starter this season, starting 24 of 25 contests for the Bulls on the year.

• The Nigeria native earned an invite to the Nigerian national camp over the summer as she practiced and trained with the top basketball players from her home country. The experience helped Onwuka grow as a player and helped build her confidence.

• Onwuka is enjoying a strong junior season, averaging 9.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 47.9% from the floor and 75.4% from the free throw line.

• The junior guard proved she could compete with any team in the nation, pulling down a season-high 13 rebounds while adding five points and two assists against #8 Stanford.

• Against #3 Oregon, Onwuka played 21 minutes and finished with three points, three steals, two assists and two rebounds.

• In the Dec. 18th showdown against Dartmouth, Onwuka was a key contributor to the Bulls offense as she connected on 7-of-12 from the floor, good for an 18 point outburst. Onwuka also grabbed a then season-high nine rebounds in an all-around performance that helped guide the Bulls to the 75-69 victory.


WILKINS CONTINUES STRONG PLAY

• Senior sharpshooter Courtney Wilkins looked to be more of a factor and score the ball on a more consistent basis and she has embraced that role, averaging 24.5 minutes per game.

• Earning her third straight start early in the campaign, Wilkins was a difference maker for the Bulls on Nov. 23rd against #3 Oregon as she netted a season-high 19 points while connecting on a season-best 5-of-11 three-pointers across 30 minutes.

• Wilkins showed flashes of being an impact performer near the end of last season as she went off for a career-high 23 points off the bench in the Bulls First Round NCAA Tournament victory over #6 South Florida. Wilkins finished the game going 7-for-10 from the field and 5-for-8 from behind the three-point line in the win.


HONORS KEEP ROLLING IN FOR DILLARD

• Senior guard Cierra Dillard was named MAC East Player of the Week on February 12th after leading the Bulls to wins against Toledo and Kent State. It is the fifth weekly honor for Dillard this season.

• Dillard was named one of 10 candidates for the 2019 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, recognizing the top shooting guard in women's NCAA Division 1 college basketball.

• The Rochester, NY native was named espnW's National Player of the Week on January 14th after averaging 34.5 points per game, while adding 5.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 4.0 steals per contest over a two week stretch that included wins at Eastern Michigan and Miami (OH).

• Additionally, Dillard was named to the Citizen Naismith Trophy Watch List as she is one of 50 players on the list and the only mid-major player to earn a spot on the prestigious list. She is also the lone UB women's basketball player to earn a spot on the list in school history.

• She was also selected by local media and athletic communication offices as the Preseason Big 4 Player of the Year.

• Dillard was also one of three unanimous First Team All-Big 4 representatives.


80 PLUS

• The Bulls have always been known for their defense but last season the UB offense began to take over some of the recognition that led the Bulls to a historic season.

• The Bulls are tough to beat when they score 80+ points as they own a 24-4 record dating back to last season when doing so.

• The Bulls have posted 80+ performances on ten occasions this season, coming away with victories in eight of those games.

• Buffalo is currently averaging 76.9 points/game which ranks third in the MAC and 27th in the nation.

• Against #3 Oregon, the Buffalo offense posted their second straight 80+ point effort in the loss. The Bulls posted 82 points against the Ducks, the most scored against the nationally ranked opponent this season.

• The potent UB attack was able to set a program record last season with 18 games going over 80 points scored including 12 such games across their final 18 games of the season.

• The 102 points scored by the Bulls in their First Round NCAA Tournament victory over #6 South Florida were the most points scored in a single game for the Bulls since December 21, 1995 when they notched 103 points against Wofford.


60 OR LESS
• The Bulls have been known for their defense since head coach Felisha Legette-Jack took over the program which has helped UB produce three straight 20+ win seasons for just the second time.

• Over the last three seasons, UB is 57-3 when holding their opponents to under 70 points and 37-0 when holding opponents to 59 points or less.

• The stingy Buffalo defense held a total of 17 opponents under 70 points this season, winning 15 of those contests.

• Buffalo held a total of eight opponents under 50 points last season and they were 8-0 in those games.


OH HOW SWEET IT WAS
• The Bulls put together their best season in program history last season as they were able to notch their first-ever NCAA Tournament game victories, downing #6 South Florida and #3 Florida State.

• Buffalo and Central Michigan became just the second and third MAC schools in conference history to earn a spot in the Sweet 16.

• With their 21-point victory over #3 Florida State, the Bulls became the first double digit seed to win a second round NCAA Tournament game by 20+ points in tournament history.

• The Bulls were also the first double-digit seed in NCAA Tournament history to score 100+ points when they defeated No. 6 South Florida by the score of 102-79.

• During their magical NCAA Tournament run, the Buffalo offense averaged 83.7 points/game while connecting on 44.9% of their shots and hitting 26 three-pointers.


UP NEXT:

The Bulls return home to host Miami (OH) on Senior Day at Alumni Arena on Saturday, March 2, at 2 p.m.