KALAMAZOO, MI - Despite scoring a season-high 92 points, the University at Buffalo women's basketball team was outscored 63-49 in the second half, falling to Western Michigan, 102-92, Thursday night at the University Arena.
Like its previous game against Toledo, Buffalo got out to a hot start as it scored the first nine points of the game. The Bulls held a nine-point advantage on three separate occasions, including a 17-8 lead six and a half minutes in. The Bulls continued to lead by seven following a Nicki Hopkins three pointer when Western Michigan scored seven straight points to tie the game up at 24-24. Up by just one at 31-30, the Bulls used seven straight points to regain an eight-point lead on a jumper from Brittany Hedderson with 3:28 left. UB would go on to take a four-point lead into the half at 43-39.
The Bulls shot 53.1% in the opening half, led by a combined 25 points from Hedderson and Margeaux Gupilan, who hit four three pointers in the opening half.
The Bulls got their lead back up to seven in the second half when the Broncos went on a 9-2 run to tie the game up at 55-55. The Broncos took their first lead of the game following a pair of free throws with 13:56 and got their lead up to six at 72-66.
However, the Bulls responded with an 8-0 run, which they achieved on one possession in the second half. Hopkins hit a three pointer and was fouled, but missed the free throw. The Bulls got the offensive rebound and then Hedderson hit a second three pointer. While her shot was in the air, redshirt sophomore Nytor Longar got fouled and hit her two free throws, giving the Bulls the lead back at 74-72. The Broncos responded with another 10-2 run, taking the lead for the remainder of the game. The Broncos would get their lead up to as many as 12 before the final margin of victory at 102-92.
"We played extremely poorly on defense today and that is very disappointing," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "Offensively, we did a lot of good things, but when you score 92 points in a game, you have to be able to come away with a victory and we couldn't do that tonight."
Hedderson had a game-high 31 points, her third 30-point performance of the season. Hedderson, who shot 14-of-24 from the floor, added six rebounds, five assists, four steals and a block. Longar finished with a double-double adding 20 points and 10 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end. Gupilan finished with a career-high 14 points, adding four three pointers.
Semalulu was the fourth player in the double figures with 11 points, three rebounds and three assists. Hopkins added nine points, while senior Beth Christensen had five points and three rebounds.
The Broncos had two players with 21 points, including Julia Henson, who hit seven three pointers. Maria Iaquaniello added 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Aurielle Anderson added 19 points and six rebounds for WMU, who became the first UB opponent to score over 100 points in a game since the 2004-05 season.
The Bulls remain on the road Saturday afternoon when they face Ball State. Tip off from Muncie, IN is set for 1:00 pm.