Bulls Roll Past Ohio, 56-35
ATHENS, OH - The University at Buffalo women's basketball team allowed just 35 points on Saturday afternoon and led wire-to-wire, defeating the Ohio Bobcats, 56-35. The Bulls forced the Bobcats into tough shots all game as Ohio shot just 24 percent from the floor. The victory caps off a dominating season series for Buffalo against Ohio as UB allowed an average of just 35.5 points in the two meetings. The victory improves the Bulls to 9-17 and 7-6 in the MAC
The Bulls opened the game on a 9-1 run and despite going over seven minutes without a field goal in the opening half, UB allowed just three points to Ohio in that span and then responded on an 11-2 run to take a 20-6 advantage. A three pointer from senior Nicki Hopkins put Buffalo up by 17 in the first half, its largest lead of the half. The Bulls ended up taking a 30-15 lead into the half, the second straight time that Buffalo has allowed just 15 points in the opening half to the Bobcats.
The Bulls opened up an 18-point lead on the Bobcats just two minutes into the second half on a fast break layup from Sloane Walton, but then the Bulls had another scoring drought, allowing Ohio to go on a 6-0 run over an eight and a half minute period. However, the UB defense kept Buffalo in the game and Cherridy Thornton ended the run with a jumper with 9:47 left. The Bulls began to rebuild their lead and a three-pointer from Walton put UB up by 21, 49-28 with 5:08 left. UB led by more than 20 for the final five minutes of the game, getting its lead up to as many as 25 on a fast break layup from Christa Baccas.
"I just thought we played as a complete team today and our inside-outside game was really working," said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. "When our offense wasn't coming to us we continued to work hard on the defensive end and I was happy to see that this afternoon."
Walton led the Bulls with 14 points off the bench, one of three players in double figures. She went 4-for-8 from behind the arc, while adding three offensive rebounds and an assist. Despite being in foul trouble all afternoon, freshman Mackenzie Loesing still managed to finish with 12 points as she was one of only two Buffalo players made it to the free throw line.
Redshirt sophomore Kristen Sharkey set the tone early as she finished with 11 first half points, adding six rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Hopkins continued her stellar play at point guard, tying her career high with six assists and finishing with just one turnover. She also had three points, four rebounds and a steal.
Baccas led the way on the boards as she finished with 12, eight of those coming in the second half. She also had six points, one assist, two blocks and a team-high four steals. Thornton had a solid game off the bench, scoring five points, but finishing with nine rebounds and five assists.
As a team, the Bulls record 19 assists on their 23 made baskets spreading the ball around the entire afternoon. Defensively, they forced Ohio to shoot just 24.1 percent from the floor and just 11.8 percent from three point range. The Bobcats also struggled from the free throw line, shooting just 5-of-12.
Ohio (6-19, 1-12 MAC) was led by 12 points from Shavon Robinson and 11 points from Erin Bailes.
The Bulls remain on the road Thursday evening when they head to Bowling Green for a 7:00 pm contest with the Falcons.