Canisius Bests Bulls In Final Minute, 59-56
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team returned home from a three-game road trip and gave it their all against visiting Canisius, but fell just short as they dropped a 59-56 contest to the Golden Griffins on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Arena.
In a second half that saw the lead change 15 times, it was Canisius who was able to take the lead last. The Bulls had a two-point lead with 1:12 left in the contest when junior Jessica Fortman was called for a charge, negating a UB basket. Canisius responded with one of its 13 three-pointers as Micayala Drysdale put Canisius up by one with 47 seconds left. After a missed jumper by the Bulls, Drysdale was fouled and hit both of her shots as the Bulls got the ball back down three with 27 seconds left. The Bulls ran the play they wanted and found freshman Nicki Hopkins, whose three fell just short as the Golden Griffins held on for the win.
In the first half it looked like the Bulls would be able to pull away as UB went on an early 15-0 run to take a 20-10 lead. Hopkins had two huge threes during that run and Fortman added six points. Canisius ended the half on a 14-8 run as the Bulls went into the half up 28-24. The Griffs scored the first five points of the second half and neither team led by more than three points throughout the final 20 minutes of action.
"To me the game didn't come down to that final shot, but it came down to us giving them 29 open looks from behind the arc," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "Nicki had a great look in the closing minutes of the game, but that wasn't the game, it was our defense unable to stop those open looks from three. I am proud of our effort and our execution at the end of the game. We were able to get the ball to Nicki, who is going to make a lot of those shots during her career here."
The Bulls were led by junior Kourtney Brown, who had another double-double with 17 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive end. Brown also added four blocks and three steals. Hopkins had a career-high 15 points on five made three-pointers, while freshman Abby Dowd, played all 40 minutes and tied her career-high with nine points, while setting new career marks with six rebounds and four assists. Bridgette Kendricks added 10 rebounds, including nine on the defensive end.
Canisius was led by 19 points from Brittane Russell, who also had eight rebounds, six assists and six steals. Ellie Radke added 14 points as five different Canisius players contributed to its 13-of-29 performance from behind the arc.
The Bulls will wrap up Big Four play on Wednesday evening as they travel to St. Bonaventure to take on the Bonnies at 7:00 pm.