BUFFALO, NY – The Buffalo women's basketball team put together a complete performance, led by 26 points and 15 rebounds by senior Kourtney Brown her 33rd career double-double, to dominate crosstown rival Canisius, 79-50, at the Koessler Athletic Center on Wednesday night.
For the Bulls, it was the largest margin of victory over the Golden Griffins in school history and snapped a six-game losing streak to Canisius.
Brown had plenty of company as 10 Bulls hits the scoring column, Buffalo outrebounded the hosts by a 50-38 margin and forced the Griffs into 19 turnovers. Freshman Kristen Sharkey poured in a career-high 14 points off the bench, while Brittany Hedderson added 11 points, six rebounds and three gorgeous assists, all in the final 10 minutes to help the Bulls stifle any Canisius comeback hopes. Senior point guard Ashley Zuber added seven points, eight assists and five steals in a dominant all-around floor game.
The Bulls broke open the game in the second half by shooting a blistering 51% from the floor. Buffalo led 36-33 when the Canisius bench was hit with a technical foul. After that, the Bulls went on a 16-2 run to open up a 52-35 lead and the Griffs never got the game back to single digits. Senior Jessica Fortman hit a putback, Brown a layup and sophomore Nicki Hopkins a three-pointer to ignite the run. The run ended on back-to-back layups by Fortman and Brown – part of a senior class that had not beaten Canisius in their careers.
"It was a really great win especially to get it here at Canisius," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "It's really sweet for the seniors, especially Ashley and Kourtney who have been here five years. The energy was incredible, even when we brought players in from the bench there was no drop off on the court. I think our execution was really good when we didn't turn the ball over."
The Bulls trailed early, 7-6 with 13:54 left in the first half, but Buffalo went on a 12-2 run to take the lead permanently as Buffalo began to establish its dominance in the paint and at the free throw line. For the evening, Buffalo made 21-of-30 free throws, outscoring the Griffs by 15 points at the charity stripe.
Buffalo extended the lead to 15 points, at 25-13, on a jumper by Sharkey, but the Griffs rallied late in the half with a 15-5 run to cut the UB lead to 30-28 at intermission.
However, the second half belonged to the Bulls and their four seniors who posted UB's biggest win ever in the long crosstown rivalry. Buffalo improves to 4-3 with the win and will host Duquesne on Monday night at 7 pm at Alumni Arena.