Buffalo (19-8, 11-5 MAC) vs. Bowling Green (9-18, 2-14 MAC)
March 6, 2019
Alumni Arena– 7 p.m.
Bulls on the Air
Radio – ESPN 1520-AM WWKB/TuneIn App
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo women's basketball team will play their final regular season home game on Wednesday night as they welcome Bowling Green to Alumni Arena. The game will be streamed live on ESPN+ with Paul Peck (pbp) and Amy Audibert (color) announcing, and broadcast on ESPN 1520 WWKB and TuneIn Radio with Matt Mattia announcing.
• Buffalo clinches a first round bye in the MAC Tournament with a win or a Toledo loss.
• The Bulls are looking for their 20th win of the season on Wednesday night. It would mark just the ninth time in school history that UB has won 20 or more games in a season and the fourth straight season.
• The contest will mark the 41st meeting all-time between the two teams, with the Falcons holding the series advantage 26-14. The Falcons snapped a three game losing streak against the Bulls and picked up their first MAC win of the season with a 78-72 victory at the Stroh Center on February 13, 2019.
• The Bulls are 5-3 against MAC East opponents this season.
• Buffalo is coming off of an 86-61 win over Miami (OH) on Saturday. Cierra Dillard had a game-high 31 points to go with eight assists, six rebounds and three steals.
• Dillard has scored 20+ points in 24 of the last 27 games and is averaging 25.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 5.9 apg and 3.0 stls/gm. The senior is currently second 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 named MAC East Player of the Week on March 5th. It was the sixth weekly honor for Dillard this season, a program record.
• 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 27 RECAP: MIAMI (OH)
• The University at Buffalo women's basketball team led wire-to-wire as they cruised to an 86-61 victory over Miami (OH) in front of a packed house on Senior Day at Alumni Arena on Saturday afternoon.
• The crowd of 3,509 was the largest women's basketball crowd of the year and the second largest in program history.
• Buffalo shot 55% from the floor, including 7-of-16 from beyond the arc, and converted 13-of-15 attempts from the charity stripe on the game. The Bulls also won the battle of the boards by a margin of 40-34, while scoring 31 fast break points.
• Dillard had a game-high 31 points to go along with eight assists, six rebounds and three steals.
• Summer Hemphill recorded her 11th double-double of the season, recording 15 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and three blocks and Teresa Onwuka also got into double figures with 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
• Dillard moved into 10th place on the UB all-time scoring list.
PREVIEWING BOWLING GREEN
• The Bowling Green Falcons enter Wednesday's contest against the Bulls with a 9-18 overall, 2-14 MAC record on the year.
• The Falcons are coming off a 62-49 victory over Kent State on Saturday.
• Bowling Green is led offensively by junior guard/forward Andrea Cecil who is averaging 16.2 points per game while pulling down 5.9 rebounds and dishing out 2.0 assists per game.
• A total of 12 of BGSU's 27 games this season have been decided by seven points or fewer. In BGSU's first 16 MAC games, 11 contests were within three points at some time in the fourth quarter and, no fewer than seven of the Falcons' MAC matchups have been tied or a one-possession game in the final minute.
• As a unit, the Falcons are currently ranked 20th in the nation in three-point field goals made per game (8.9) and are 31st in total three-pointers made (239), 39th in triples attempted (678) and 46th in long-range accuracy (35.3%).
• Robyn Fralick is in her first season as head coach of the Falcons. The Okemos, Michigan native came to Bowling Green after 10 seasons at Ashland University, the last three as head coach. Fralick entered the season with a head-coaching record of 104-3. The Eagles won the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2016-17 before returning to the national championship game and earning a runner-up finish in '17-18. Fralick was named the 2018 United States Marine Corps/WBCA NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year.
TURNING THEM OVER
• The Buffalo defense is forcing an average of 19.6 turnovers/game across 27 contests.
• As a team, Buffalo is second the MAC and ranks 38th in the NCAA in turnovers forced this season.
• The Bulls are also averaging 10.3 steals/game so far this season while netting an average of 20.4 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 389-208 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 26 of 27 contests.
• Over the past two plus seasons, the Bulls have won or tied the fast break category in 78 of their 93 games, including 63 of their 69 wins.
HOME SWEET HOME
• Since Legette-Jack took over before the 2012-13 season, the Bulls hold a 65-29 (.691) record at home across 94 contests.
• Over the last two seasons, UB is 20-3 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 73-55 (.570) on the road or on neutral ground during her tenure.
• 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. 15 Ohio, No. 19 Buffalo, No. 23 Miami (OH)
*Receiving votes: Toledo
**As of March 5, 2019
• 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.
• Senior Cierra Dillard is in her final season in a Buffalo uniform and the ultra-talented guard has accumulated 2,037 career points across her stops with UMass and the Bulls. She currently has 688 points on the year, surpassing last year's total of 566, and moving her into second 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.
• The senior scored her 2,000th career point at the free throw line in the fourth quarter of a 30-point win at Ohio on February 27.
• Dillard now has 1,254 points in a UB uniform, moving her into 10th 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 24 of 27 contests this season, including a stretch of 11 straight 20+ point efforts, and six 30+ point performances (Oregon, Georgetown, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Ohio and Miami (OH)). Dillard is currently second in the nation in scoring, averaging 25.5 points per game for the Bulls through the first 27 games of the season.
• The senior captain has led the Bulls in scoring in 24 of 27 games this season and is averaging 25.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 3.0 steals while connecting on 39.5% of her shots and an impressive 79.8% of her free throw attempts on the year.
• Across her career, Dillard has produced at least one steal in 60 of 62 games and recorded multiple steals in 47 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 62 career games while recording 5+ helpers 16 times this season. She has also led the team in assists 36 times during her UB career.
• Dillard has led the Bulls in scoring 43 times since joining the program while going over the 20-point plateau a team-high 35 times. The Bulls own a 26-9 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 14.2 points and 10.1 rebounds per game on the season.
• The Buffalo, NY native has recorded 11 double-doubles on the year, including 10 of the last 15 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.
• The Buffalo, NY native pulled down a season-high 18 boards in UB's win at Ohio.
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 27 games this season.
• The Hamilton, ON native is currently averaging 25.4 minutes, 5.9 points, 2.8 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 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 26 of 27 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 9.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 48.5% from the floor and 74.0% 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 March 5th after leading the Bulls to bit wins at Ohio and against Miami (OH). It is the sixth weekly honor for Dillard this season, a program record.
• 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.
• 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 scored 80+ points as they own a 25-4 record dating back to last season when doing so.
• The Bulls have posted 80+ performances on 11 occasions this season, coming away with victories in nine of those games.
• Buffalo is currently averaging 76.4 points/game which ranks third in the MAC and 26th 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 58-3 when holding their opponents to under 70 points and 38-0 when holding opponents to 59 points or less.
• The stingy Buffalo defense held a total of 18 opponents under 70 points this season, winning 16 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.
The Bulls travel to Kent State on Saturday, March 9, for the regular season finale at 2 p.m.