Brown’s Bucket Delivers Bulls To Third Straight Victory
YPSILANTI, MI – Senior Kourtney Brown put the University at Buffalo women's basketball team ahead with a basket with 28 seconds left and the Bulls hung on for a victory at Eastern Michigan, 70-68. The Eagles had overcome a 16-point second half deficit, taking a one-point lead before Brown gave the Bulls the lead back. The win was the third straight for UB as it improves its record to 12-10 on the season and 5-4 in the MAC.
The Bulls scored the first six points of the game on back-to-back three-point plays from junior Brittany Hedderson and Brown. However the Eagles responded to tie the game up, going on to take their largest lead of the game at 20-12 with 8:42 left in the opening half. The Bulls then went on a 14-1 run over the next six and half minutes, which was fueled by three three pointers from sophomore Nicki Hopkins. The Bulls led by as many as five in the first half, which was their lead heading into the break.
The Bulls came out firing in the second half as they dominated the opening 10 minutes of the half. With UB up 48-40 in the half, the team went on a 10-2 run, which was capped off on a layup from Brittany Hedderson, giving the Bulls their largest lead of the game at 16, leading 58-42 with 9:02 left.
The Eagles began to come back, finally taking a lead on a layup from Tavelyn James with just 49 seconds to go in the game. The Bulls would go on to use their final timeout drawing up a play for Brown, who had been dominant throughout the contest. Brown delivered, putting the Bulls back up by 69-68 with just 28 seconds left in the game. The Eagles got the ball back and had three shots at the basket, but were unable to convert, the last resulting in a big rebound from Bridgette Kendricks. Kendricks dribbled some time off the clock before getting the ball to Ashley Zuber, who was fouled with eight seconds left. Zuber went 1-for-2, giving the Bulls a two-point lead. The Eagles had one final opportunity as Cassie Schrock missed a layup with one second left. EMU got another opportunity on the offensive rebound from India Hairston, but her put back was blocked by Brown as time expired.
"This is a game that in the past we may not have won," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "The outcome today showed the poise of our team to keep fighting even when they took the lead late. I am proud of how we played hard to the final buzzer and got a win against a very good opponent."
Brown led the way with her sixth straight double-double, finishing with 26 points and 13 rebounds and four blocked shots. Brown was clutch from the free throw line, going 8-for-9 from the charity stripe. The double-double was also the 44th of her career.
Hedderson finished with 17 points and six rebounds, while Hopkins came off the bench to score 12 points on 4-of-7 from behind the arc. Jessica Fortman had seven points and seven rebounds, while Kendricks and Zuber each finished with four points. Zuber added to her MAC-leading assist total with a game-high seven, while Kendricks added three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Junior Beth Chritensen had six rebounds, a block and two steals off the bench.
The Eagles, who fell to 16-8 and 7-3 in the MAC, were led by 29 points from Schrock, who went 12-for-25 from the floor. She also added eight rebounds and four assists. Sydney Huntley added 18 points and six assists.
UB's defense did a nice job on James, the third-leading scorer in the MAC, as she finished with nine points on 4-of-11 shooting, including 0-for-5 from behind the arc.
The Bulls now return home for three straight games, beginning on Tuesday against Western Michigan. This game is a makeup for last Thursday night's postponement. It will be a 4:30 pm tip off and will be the first game in a rare weekday doubleheader with the UB men's team.