Balanced Scoring Effort Leads Bulls To Season-Opening Win
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team got contributions for all 10 players that dressed as UB opened the season with an 86-63 victory over Howard, Friday night at Alumni Arena. Senior Kourtney Brown picked up the 30th double-double of her career to lead all scorers.
Howard led early in the contest at 5-2, but UB quickly responded with a 10-0 run, which began on back-to-back three pointers from juniors Ephesia Holmes and Brittany Hedderson. The Bulls quickly built their lead to 17, leading 29-12 with 7:55 left following two free throws from Brown. Howard responded with a 10-0 run of its own to pull within 29-22 and eventually went in the lockerroom at the same margin with UB leading 38-31.
UB came out in the second half and shot nearly 56% from the floor. The Bulls opened the half on a 15-4 run over the first four and half minutes and claimed their first 20-point lead on a jumper from Bridgette Kendricks with 13:32 left. The Bison would cut the lead to 15 with 9:25 left, but UB answered with the pivotal run in the game. The Bulls scored eight of the next 10 points, all coming from Brown, who ran the length of the floor on three separate occasions and received full-court passes from Hedderson and twice from senior Ashley Zuber. The Bulls took their largest lead of the game at 27 on a layup from freshman Rachel Bantelman.
"I was very happy with the teamwork and the chemistry out there on the court tonight," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "We took good care of the basketball, especially in the second half, and we shared the ball. Having everybody contribute to the success tonight is what makes me the happiest about the win."
All 10 players scored for the Bulls, led by Brown, who had 23 points and 11 rebounds. Brown also had two assists, two blocks and two steals. Most important, Brown went a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Hedderson added 19 points and seven assists as she hit five three pointers on the night. Hedderson also pulled in four rebounds, while committing just one turnover. Freshman Kristen Sharkey reached double figures with 11 points in her first collegiate game. Sharkey had three rebounds, while going 7-for-8 from the free throw line. Rounding out the double figure scorers was Holmes, who had 10 points, including three three pointers, which tied her career high.
Kendricks added seven points, four rebounds and three steals, while Zuber had six points, four assists and three rebounds. Senior Jessica Fortman also did a fantastic job distributing the basketball as she had six assists and just one turnover, while adding four points and four rebounds. Freshman Margeaux Gupilan had three points, knocking down her first career three, and Bantelman added two points. Junior Teresa Semalulu had six rebounds, including five on the offensive end.
As a team, the Bulls had 23 assists on their 29 field goals, while committing just 12 turnovers, only three of those coming the second half. As a team, UB shot 47.5% from the floor and 73.9% from the free throw line.
Howard was led by two players in double figures. Saadia Doyle had a double-double with 22 points and 15 rebounds, while Tamoria Holmes had 17 points on 5-of-7 from behind the arc.
The Bulls remain home on Monday night when they welcome Cleveland State to Alumni Arena. Tip off is set for 7:00 pm.