BETHLEHEM, PA – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team comes back from Christmas break and immediately hits the road for the next four games, spanning into the beginning of Mid-American Conference play. The Bulls begin the trip with a two-game tournament at the Lehigh Christmas City Classic.
The Bulls (5-5) are one of four teams that will invade Stabler Arena on Wednesday and Thursday looking for the tournament championship. UB meets up with Mississippi State (7-3) of the SEC on Wednesday at 5:00 pm in the first of two games on the day. The other first round game will involve Rider (0-9) and Lehigh (7-3). The losers of the two games will meet in the consolation final on Thursday at 5:00 pm, while the winners will play in the championship game on Thursday at 7:00 pm.
UB is coming off a 58-42 win over Niagara, its only game in the last 17 days. Senior Kourtney Brown had her 35th career double-double and currently leads the Bulls with 20.4 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. Fellow senior Jessica Fortman had her first double-figure scoring game of the season against the Purple Eagles with 11 points.
Mississippi State is 7-3 on the season following a 61-49 win over Mississippi Valley State on Dec. 20. The Bulldogs are 5-1 at home and have yet to play a neutral site game. Mississippi State has two players averaging double figures led by Diamber Johnson, who is averaging 12.5 points per game. Mary Kathryn Govero is second on the team at 12.2 points per game. Ashley Brown leads the team at 10.4 rebounds per contest, while chipping in 8.8 points per game.
Lehigh is 7-5 on the season following a 76-58 win against Wagner way back on Dec. 11. It has won six straight games following a 1-5 start, which includes losses to LSU and UConn. Courtney Dentler leads the team with 12.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest, while Erica Prosser, a preseason All-Patriot League selection, adds 12.1 points per game and Emily Gratch chips in 11.0 points per contest.
Rider is 0-9 on the season following a 78-58 loss at La Salle on Dec. 19. The Broncs are averaging just 47.7 points per game and are led by Shereen Lightbourne, who is averaging 8.5 points per game. Ali Heller is averaging 7.7 points and Caitlin Bopp adds 7.6 points and a team-high 8.9 rebounds per contest.
Following the two games in Pennsylvania, the Bulls will remain on the road as they conclude non-conference play at Brown on Sunday afternoon.