BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team was able to erase an early 13-point deficit, but could not hold on to a late lead, falling to Central Michigan, 66-60, Saturday afternoon at Alumni Arena. Today's game was UB's last against opponents from the MAC West.
The Chippewas got out to hot start in the contest, taking a 21-8 lead over the first 11 minutes of the first half. CMU would continue to lead by 12 at 24-12 when the Bulls scored six straight points, capped off on a layup from senior Beth Christensen to pull within six. UB would go into the break down eight.
Central Michigan got its lead back up to 11 early in the second half, but the Bulls used a 13-2 run to tie the game at 36-36 with 13:05 remaining. The Bulls went on to take their first lead of the game on a layup from Brittany Hedderson and then took their largest lead of the game at 49-43 following a Hedderson three pointer. However, the Chippewas responded by hitting a pair of three pointers en route to a 7-0 run. The Bulls would regain the lead with 1:23 left on a layup from Nytor Longar, but it would be UB's last points of the game. Back-to-back Central Michigan buckets gave it a two-point advantage and the Chippewas went a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line late to clinch the win.
"I am proud of the way we fought back after the early deficit, but we weren't able to hit shots late when we needed to," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "We practiced those late-game situations a lot, but today we just didn't execute."
Hedderson led the way with 20 points, recording 16 of those in the second half. She added six rebounds, five assists and blocked shot. Semalulu finished with a career-high 16 points, adding nine rebounds, five assists, two blocked shots and two steals. Longar rounded out the double-figure scorers with 15 points and eight rebounds, adding two blocks and a steal.
Christensen added six points, nine rebounds and three blocks, while freshman Kasheema Besley came off the bench to record one point, one rebound and a career-best two steals. Christa Baccas added two points and four rebounds.
The Bulls return to action on Wednesday night when they head to Bowling Green. Tip off is at 7:00 pm.