Bulls Fall In Defensive Battle To St. Bonaventure, 56-47
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team engaged in a defensive battle with fellow Big 4 member St. Bonaventure on Friday night, but the visiting Bonnies were able to walk out with a 56-47 win at Alumni Arena. The Bulls outshot the Bonnies on the night, but St. Bonaventure used a better performance from the three point line and free throw line for the win.
The Bonnies jumped out to an early seven point lead taking a 15-8 advantage over the first 10 minutes of the first half. The Bulls responded over the next five minutes going on an 11-0 run with four straight points coming from freshman Kristen Sharkey. The run was capped off by a three pointer from junior Ephesia Holmes. However, it would be the last points of the half for the Bulls as St. Bonaventure ended the half on a 8-0 run, including a steal of an in bounds pass with eight seconds left and then a three pointer to go into the half up four.
The Bonnies went on to score the first two points of the second half before the Bulls went on an 8-0 run of their own to take a two-point lead. With 14:25 left in the second half and the score tied at 30-30, the Bonnies would go on a game-changing 9-0 run to take a 39-30 lead. St. Bonaventure lead would get to as many as 11 with 5:50 to go in the game before UB closed it to with six with 2:17 left on a free throw from Kourtney Brown. The Bonnies got the lead back into double digits before UB cut it to seven with 27 seconds left on a three from Brittany Hedderson. Two SBU free throws gave the Bonnies their final margin of victory.
"They were collapsing four people down on Kourtney Brown which made it very difficult for her to get the ball back outside to the guards," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "They were very physical on our cuts and they took our passing lanes away. They played very well defensively and we had a hard time adapting to it."
Brown led the way with 17 points and seven rebounds. 15 of her points came in the second half as she also finished with a block and an assist. Hedderson had nine points and four rebounds, while Ashley Zuber finished with seven points, five assists, three steals and two rebounds. Three players finished with four points including Jessica Fortman, Sharkey and Holmes. Junior Teresa Semalulu played a season-high 17 minutes, finishing with three rebounds and a steal.
St. Bonaventure was led by 21 points from Chelsea Bowker and 14 points from Jessica Jenkins. Defensively, the Bulls did a really good job on the Bonnies leading scorerer as Megan Van Tatenhove finished with just seven points on 1-of-12 shooting.
The Bulls now have an 11-day break as they prepare for final exams. UB will wrap up its three-game homestand and its competition against the Big 4 on Dec. 21 when it hosts Niagara. Tip off is set for 7:00 pm.