AMES, IA – It was a tale of two halves on Friday night in the championship game of the Cyclone Challenge as the University at Buffalo women's basketball team played a strong first half, but was outscored 31-14 in the second, helping Iowa State to a 65-45 win at the Hilton Coliseum. The loss ends non-conference play for the Bulls with a 5-9 record.
UB came out firing at the start of the game as senior Brittany Hedderson and junior Nicki Hopkins hit three pointers, giving UB an early 6-1 lead. The Cyclones came back to take a 9-8 advantage and led 17-15 when the Bulls went on a 9-0 run, taking their largest lead of the game at 24-17. All nine points on the run came from UB three-pointers, capped off on one from sophomore Margeaux Gupilan. The Cyclones responded with a 9-2 run to tie things up at 26-26. The two teams then traded three pointers, before a 5-2 run at the end of the half gave Iowa State a three-point advantage into the break.
The second half belonged to Iowa State, which came out on a 20-6 run over the first 11 minutes of the half. The Cyclones led by as many as 25 in the second half, before finishing with the 20-point victory. After hitting seven three pointers in the first half, the Bulls missed all eight of their second half opportunities.
The Bulls were led by Hedderson, who had 12 points, three rebounds and two steals. Following the conclusion of the game, Hedderson was named to the All-Tournament Team. She had 17 points in yesterday's win over NJIT.
Redshirt sophomore Nytor Longar added nine points off the bench, adding two rebounds. Hopkins and Gupilan each finished with six points, while Gupilan added four assists. Freshman Christa Baccas also added six points, six rebounds and two blocked shots. Senior Beth Christensen finished with four rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Fellow senior Teresa Semalulu finished with four points, five rebounds, two assists and four steals.
Iowa State (9-2) remained undefeated at home, winning the Cyclone Challenge for the seventh straight year. They were led by 19 points and 13 rebounds from Chelsea Poppins. Haylee Christofferson and Lauren Mansfield each added 10 points.
The Bulls will remain on the road next week as they begin Mid-American Conference play. UB will head to Ohio on Wednesday night to face the Bobcats. Tip off is set for 7:00 pm.