NEWARK, DE – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team was unable to overcome 39 points from preseason All-American Elena Delle Donne as the Bulls fell to Delaware, 85-72, Tuesday night at the Bob Carpenter Center. The Bulls outscored the Blue Hens, 44-41, in the second half.
The first half was all Delaware as the Blue Hens led by as many as 23 points in the opening half. Delaware went 8-of-12 from behind the arc in the opening half as Delle Donne had 20 of her game-high 39 points in the first. The Bulls cut into the Delaware lead though as the Blue Hens led by 16 at the half at 44-28.
However, the Bulls came out as a different team in the second half beginning the half on an 11-2 run led by junior Jessica Fortman, who had 20 of her career-high 25 points in the second half. Down 10 with 11:24 left, the Bulls staged another run as a 13-4 run pulled the Bulls within one on a three from freshman Nicki Hopkins. However, that is as close as the Bulls would get as the Blue Hens scored the next six points to regain a seven-point advantage.
"We had an extremely tough time stopping Delle Donne and when we did [Tesia] Harris hit some clutch three-pointers," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "I am proud of our effort and the way we came back in the second half, but we can't get down by 23 and expect to win."
The Bulls were led by Fortman's 25 points, including an 8-for-10 performance from the line. Freshman Abby Dowd tied her career-high with 10 points and five assists. More importantly, Dowd did not turn the ball over at all in the game. Kourtney Brown added nine points and eight rebounds, while freshman Amy Gardner had seven points, including two three-pointers. Also recording seven points was Ephesia Holmes, who went 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.
As a team, the Bulls turned the ball over just 13 times, including only three times in the second half. UB also shot a blistering 61.5 percent in the second half, including a perfect 4-of-4 from behind the arc.
Delaware was led by 39 points and nine rebounds from Delle Donne and 23 points from Tesia Harris, who went a perfect 6-of-6 from behind the arc.
The Bulls will be back in action next Monday as they head to the Hatter Classic at Stetson University in DeLand, FL. UB faces American in the first game on Dec. 28 at 3:00 pm.