BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team was able to erase a 14-point second half deficit to force overtime, but the Bulls fell late in the extra period to the MAC West leaders, Toledo, 69-67, Wednesday night at Alumni Arena. For the first time since November of last year UB had two 20-point scorers, led by 30 points and 18 rebounds from Kourtney Brown.
The Bulls fought hard in a game where they didn't shoot the ball particularly well for the first 30 minutes of the game. Despite shooting just 25.7 percent in the opening half, the Bulls went into the break down just two at 26-24. Just like they did in the first half, the Rockets opened the second half with nine straight points and led by as many as 14 points at the 14:18 mark of the second half. However, UB then went on an 18-4 run to tie the game up at 44 with 5:45 left, but the Rockets again regained an eight-point lead on an 11-3 run with 3:18 left in the contest. Brown cut the lead to five on a three-point play and sophomore Brittany Hedderson knocked down a triple to pull the Bulls within two with 1:56 left in the second half. A Melissa Goodall jumper put the Rockets back up four beforeAshley Zuber again pulled the Bulls within two. The UB defense then kicked it up a notch and forced consecutive turnovers, getting Brown to the line with 14 seconds left. She knocked down both free throws and a last second shot by Toledo was no good to force overtime.
The two teams tied it up four times in the extra session and a jumper by Brown gave the Bulls their largest lead of overtime at four points with 1:16 left. Toledo responded with a three-pointer from Jessica Williams to pull within one and after a UB turnover, Toledo's Tanika Mays hit two free throws to put the Rockets up one. The Bulls had their opportunity, but freshman Abby Dowd was unable to convert on two off balanced shots. UB fouled Williams, who converted on one of two free throws for the final mark.
"I am pleased in the way we fought back tonight especially in those late minutes of the second half," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "Unfortunately we came up a little short in the end, but tonight proved to us that we can play with the best teams in the league."
Brown led the way with 30 points and 18 rebounds, her second 30-point game of the season and the fourth of her career. Brown also had three blocks, three steals and an assist. Hedderson finished with 22 points, five assists and three steals as the Bulls had two 20-point scorers for the first time since Nov. 28, 2008 when Brown and Rachelle Matthys did so against North Carolina A&T.
Freshman Chrissy Cooper finished with a career-high eight rebounds, while Zuber had six points, five assists and a rebound. Zuber went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line, her first points from the charity stripe in over a year and a half. Sophomore Beth Christensen returned to the UB lineup for the first time in six games and gave the Bulls two points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of action.
Mays led the way for the Rockets with 28 points and nine rebounds, while Goodall added 16 points and nine boards. Naama Shafir had nine points, 11 assists and seven boards.
The Bulls hit the road again as they face Western Michigan on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm.