BUFFALO, NY - It will be senior day for the women's basketball team Saturday at noon, with the team honoring its five seniors before taking on the Ohio Bobcats (13-15, 6-8 MAC). The game will precede the men's game against Miami (OH), to be held at 3 pm.
The Bulls (8-20, 3-11 MAC) are coming off an 85-72 win over Kent State in a game that saw the Bulls shoot a season-best 55.6 percent for the game. Nytor Longar and Brittney Hedderson cracked the 20-point mark while Beth Christensen had one of her best games of the season, putting in nine points, nine rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals. The UB offense was clicking on all cylinders, making 24 assists to only 12 turnovers while forcing the Golden Flashes into 21 turnovers. Saturday's game against Ohio will be the last at Alumni Arena for four senior Bulls: Hedderson, Christensen, Ephesia Holmes and Theresa Semalulu.
The Bobcats are coming off arguably its best win of the season, beating Mid-American Conference leader Bowling Green 60-56. Led by senior Tenishia Benson's 14.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, Ohio has four players who average over 20 minutes per game, and as a team posts 60 points per game. The team has been vulnerable on the road this season, with a paltry 1-8 record on the road.
Saturday will be the 25th game between Ohio and Buffalo, with the two teams winning 12 apiece. In January, Ohio defended its home court with a 73-64 win over the Bulls despite UB shooting 50 percent from the field compared to Ohio's 39.7 percent, with the Bobcats' 15 offensive rebounds being the difference in the game. The game will be broadcast live on SportsTime Ohio, ESPN Full Court and ESPN3.
Immediately following the game, the men will take to the court to face Miami (OH) (9-17, 5-8 MAC). The Bulls will have revenge on the mind in what is becoming a must-win situation for the team's hopes of clinching a top four seed and a bye through at least the first round of the conference tournament.
While the Redhawks are riding high off a major win over Kent State on Tuesday night, the Bulls are looking to rebounds after a frustrating 88-77 loss at home against Ohio in a game where the Bobcats used 21 offensive rebounds to take 20 more shots. Mitchell Watt had 19 points and seven rebounds to lead the team in both categories.
Miami is led by all-conference forward Julian Mavunga, who leads the team by a large margin in both points (16.8) and rebounds (9.3). He leads an offense that averages 61 points per game but has a solid defense that allows only 64 points per game despite a thin depth chart. Eleven of the team's losses this season have been by seven points or less and only three of the RedHawks’ losses have been by more than ten points.
Saturday will be the 30th meeting between the divisional rivals, with Miami coming in with a 21-8 advantage. In Alumni Arena, though, the series is only in Miami's favor 7-6, with UB taking three straight at home in the series. In January, the Bulls shot 48.7 percent from the field for the game and held Mavunga to just eight points and four rebounds, but committed 21 turnovers and could not contain freshman sharpshooter Brian Sullivan, who shot 5-9 from three to lift Miami to a 52-51 win. The game came down to the final shot, but a Zach Filzen three went off the heel of the rim as time winded down.
Tickets are still available for the doubleheader, and fans who cannot make it out to Alumni Arena can also tune into 1230 AM WECK, with Josh Whetzel and Pete Lonergan on the call.