Second Half Comeback Leads Bulls To First Ever Win At Western Michigan
KALAMAZOO, MI – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team brushed off its worst shooting performance of the season in the first half to snap a three-game losing streak as the Bulls defeated Western Michigan, 50-46, Saturday afternoon at University Arena. The win for the Bulls was their first ever at Western Michigan in six tries.
The game was a tale of two halves as the Bulls shot just 15.6 percent from the floor during the opening 20 minutes, converting on 5-of-32 from the floor. Luckily for UB, the Broncos didn't shoot much better as the Broncos hit on 7-for-24 from the field. UB went 5-for-6 from the free throw line to stay in the game, including a perfect 4-for-4 performance from Ashley Zuber. The Broncos took an 18-15 lead into the break. The 18 points allowed by the Bulls in the first half tied for UB's best defensive performance in a half this season.
At first it looked as if the second half would be the same story as the first as the Bulls missed their first two shots of the half. The Bulls then found their shooting touch and converted on 12 of their final 19 field goals. The Broncos led by eight with 16:44 left when the Bulls went on an 8-0 run to tie the game up at 25-25 on a jumper from Brittany Hedderson. The Bulls led by five when a 7-0 Western Michigan run put the Broncos back up 36-34 with 8:25 left. The Broncos continued to lead by two at 40-38 with 5:32 left when a 7-0 Buffalo run gave the Bulls the lead for good. The run was capped off by a three-point play from Jessica Fortman. The Bulls would go on to lead by seven following two more free throws from Zuber with 13 seconds left and a WMU three-pointer with four seconds left gave the Bulls their final margin of victory at 50-46.
"We are a very capable scoring team and we just weren't scoring in the first half," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "With every shot we missed we seemed to get tighter and more tentative and that is what we talked about at halftime. We knew we were lucky to be down three with the way we shot and we knew that if we ran that same offense and got those same shots that we would knock them down and be in good shape."
The Bulls were led by 20 points from Fortman, who had 17 of those points in the second half. Fortman also had six rebounds, and an assist, a block and a steal. Hedderson added 10 points and two blocks, while Kourtney Brown had eight points and 10 rebounds, while adding a block and a steal.
The Broncos were led by 11 points from Kemmy Dominique and seven points and 14 rebounds from Ebony Cleary. The Bulls held WMU's leading scorer Miame Giden to just six points. The defensive effort by the Bulls was the second time UB picked up a win when holding its opponent under 46 points.
The Bulls return home for a two-game homestand beginning this Wednesday night against Eastern Michigan. Tipoff with the Eagles is set for 7:00 pm at Alumni Arena.