PROVIDENCE, RI – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team was unable to overcome a 32-turnover performance as the Bulls fell to Providence, 86-63, Wednesday night at Alumni Hall. The two teams were locked into a tight affair in the first half, but the Friars outscored the Bulls 49-32 in the second half.
Providence scored the first five points of the game, but the Bulls kept it tight and took their first lead of the game at 11-9 on a Kourtney Brown layup with 14:09 left in the half. The Friars then went on a 15-3 run to take an 11-point lead, their largest of the half. The Bulls would cut the lead to three, but Providence responded by retaking an 11-point advantage with 2:00 left in the opening half. The Bulls would go on to score the last five points of the half and were down just six, despite 19 first-half turnovers. The Bulls shot the ball extremely well in the half, converting on 11-of-21 from the field.
The Bulls cut the Providence lead to four before a 22-7 Friar run put them ahead by 19 with 11:57 left in the half. A three-pointer by Nicki Hopkins at the 7:55 mark capped a 13-2 UB run as the Bulls trailed by just eight, but the Friars responded with eight straight points. Providence would go on to lead by as many as 23, their final margin of victory.
"I thought we had our chances to take the lead in the first half, but we turned the ball over way too much," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "We have to do a better job of taking care of the basketball if we want to win."
The Bulls were led by 22 points from Brown, her second 20-point performance of the season. Brown added nine rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. Hopkins had nine points on three treys, while juniorJessica Fortman also added nine points. Bridgette Kendricks had eight rebounds on the night, while sophomore Ephesia Holmes played a season-high 15 minutes, spelling the UB point guards who were in foul trouble for most of the night.
Providence was led by 31 points from Chelsea Marandola, while Mi-Khida Hankins added 21 points and nine rebounds. Hankins also had five steals on the night.
After playing five of their first six games away from home, the Bulls return to Alumni Arena on Saturday afternoon as they host crosstown rival Canisius at 4:00 pm.