Second Half Struggles Cost Bulls At Akron
AKRON, OH – Despite taking an early lead in the second half on Saturday afternoon, the University at Buffalo women's basketball team was outscored 38-23 over the final 20 minutes of play, as Akron defeated Buffalo, 75-57. The loss drops UB's record to 7-14 on the season and 5-3 in Mid-American Conference play.
The Zips hit their first four three pointers and led by 12 just nine minutes into the contest at 21-9. Buffalo however, kept fighting back and got strong first-half play from Kristen Sharkey and Cherridy Thornton as the Bulls crept back into the game. Down 23-12, the Bulls went on a 10-0 run, capped off a jumper for Thornton to pull UB within, 23-22. Buffalo went on to tie it up at 34-34 before Akron's Kacie Cassell hit a three before the buzzer to send Akron to the break up three.
Buffalo scored the first four points of the second half as a layup from junior Margeaux Gupilan gave UB the lead, 38-37. The Zips answered with four straight of their own and UB was never able to get closer than one for the remainder of the contest. Down just 53-48, Akron went on a 14-3 run to extend its lead to 67-51 with 3:15 left. The Zips got their lead up to as many as 19 late in the second half.
The Bulls were led by a pair of double doubles from Sharkey and sophomore Christa Baccas, the first time since December of 2011 against Oakland that two UB players had double-doubles in the same game. Sharkey had 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Baccas followed it up with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Thornton finished with 13 points, but 12 of those came before the half.
It was a tough day for the UB guards, who combined to go just 5-of-28 from the floor. Gupilan finished with seven points, five rebounds and four assists, while Mackenzie Loesing had five points. Sophomore Sloane Walton hit some big shots off the bench again, finishing with six points on a pair of three pointers.
Akron had four players in double figures led by 20 points from Sina King. Rachel Tecca added 16 points and nine rebounds, while Hanna Luburgh and Taylor Ruper each finished with 15 points. Cassell finished with a game-high 10 assists.
Buffalo returns to Alumni Arena on Thursday night when it hosts Bowling Green at 7:00 pm. The contest is UB's Play4Kay game and fans are encouraged to wear pink.