DELAND, FL – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team was unable to overcome 25 turnovers as the Bulls fell to American, 54-43, despite a defensive effort that saw American shoot just 28.6 percent for the game. The game was the opener of the Stetson Hatter Classic.
The Bulls led throughout the first half, leading by as many as nine in the opening half on a three from Abby Dowd with 8:41 remaining in the half. However, the Bulls were unable to capitalize on that lead as poor shooting and turnovers kept American in the game. A layup by Jessica Fortman with three seconds left in the half gave the Bulls a four-point lead at intermission, 23-19.
However, the second half was a different story as American scored the first eight points of the half and held on to the lead for the rest of the game. Despite the strong defensive effort by the Bulls, UB continued to struggle on the offensive end as it shot just 29.6 percent in the second half. The Bulls did get a boost off the bench from redshirt juniorAshley Zuber, who appeared in a game for the first time since 2007-08, missing the last season and half due to injury. Zuber contributed four points in her seven minutes of action. The Bulls would cut the American lead to two on a jumper from Teresa Semalulu with 5:54 left in the game, but American responded with back-to-back threes to go up by eight. The Eagles also hit 19 of their 22 free throws in the second half.
The Bulls were led by Kourtney Brown, who had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Dowd had nine points, five rebounds and two assists, while Fortman finished with eight points, six rebounds, two assists, a block and two steals.
American was led by 18 points and eight rebounds from Michelle Kirk, who went 12-of-12 from the free throw line. Liz Leer had 12 points and two boards.
The Bulls return to action tomorrow at the Hatter Classic where they will face Stetson in the consolation game.