STORRS, CT – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team gave it their all on Saturday night, but it wasn't enough as the Bulls fell to Connecticut, 90-34, on the second day of the World Vision Classic. UConn came in to the game ranked second in the nation in the latest USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll.
The first half got off to a great start for the Bulls as they were able to exchange baskets with UConn, even taking an early lead at the 17:33 mark. It was just the second time this season that UConn had trailed in a game. However, UB had a tough time dealing with Connecticut's full court pressure, as it turned the ball over 20 times in the opening half. When the Bulls did get an open look, they struggled to convert, shooting just 26.1% from the floor.
The Huskies again used their pressure in the second half as they continued to build on their lead. Senior Tiffany Hayes had a career day for UConn as she finished with 30 points in 30 minutes. UConn was able to capitalize on 30 Buffalo turnovers, which it turned into 39 points. The other key for the Huskies was rebounding as they outrebounded the Bulls, 49-22. The Huskies had 26 offensive rebounds, which they turned into 27 points.
"I thought we gave a good effort early in each half tonight," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "The problem is that it was for only 10 minutes and these games are 40 minutes. Their pressure really hurt us and we didn't do a good job on the boards tonight."
UB was led by 12 points from Brittany Hedderson, who scored the first six points of the game for the Bulls. Ephesia Holmes added five points, while Margeaux Gupilan and Rachel Bantelman each finished with four. Nicki Hopkins, Valerie Majewski and Sloane Walton each hit three pointers in the contest. For Walton, it was her first career points. Beth Christensen added a team-high five rebounds.
Connecticut (4-0) had two other players in double figures besides Hayes. Stefanie Dolson finished with 17 points, while Kelly Faris added 13.
The Bulls did a nice job on UConn's leading scorer, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who had just two points in 24 minutes. The freshman was averaging 17.0 points per game entering the contest.
UB will wrap up play at the World Vision Classic tomorrow afternoon when they face Fairleigh Dickinson at 2:00 pm.