Bulls End 2010 With 67-51 Win Over Rider
BETHLEHEM, PA – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team led wire-to-wire on Thursday evening as the Bulls defeated Rider, 67-51, in the consolation game of the Lehigh Christmas City Classic. Following the game, senior Kourtney Brown was named to the All-Tournament team.
UB allowed a season-low 15 points in the opening half as the Broncs shot just 23 percent from the floor. The Bulls played arguably their best defensive half of the season, recording nine steals and three blocks. Buffalo got off to a quick start, leading 17-2 just eight minutes into the game. The Bulls led by as many as 19 in the opening half on a jumper from Jessica Fortman to give the Bulls a 24-5 lead with 6:19 left in the half. Rider responded with a 9-0 run, but that was short lived as freshman Margeaux Gupilan ignited a UB 9-0 run, which was capped off on a three-point play from senior Ashley Zuber.
The Bulls opened up the second half with six early points to take their largest lead of the game at 39-15 on a layup from Brittany Hedderson and continued to lead by 18 with 10:35 left when the Broncs began to creep back into the game. Rider would cut it into single digits, getting the lead down to eight on a three from Ali Heller with 5:22 left. However, UB calmly answered its counterpart's run with nine straight points, six coming from Brown. A jumper by Bridgette Kendricks with 42 second left moved UB's advantage back up to 19 as the Bulls held on to win 67-51.
"I was very pleased with our defensive effort in the first half and I thought that helped get our offense going," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "In the second half Rider made a couple of runs, but I thought we did a nice job of withstanding the run and then making a couple of our own."
Brown led the way with 23 points and 10 rebounds, recording her 36th career double-double. Brown also had two blocks and a season-high five steals. Her 10 rebounds moved her into third place in the all-time rebounding list and just one shy of 900. Hedderson finished with 14 points and three assists, while Zuber had 10 points, a game-high seven assists and four steals. Fortman had seven points, four rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal, while Kendricks had five points and four rebounds off the bench. Junior Beth Christensen also gave good minutes off the bench with six rebounds, three blocks, two steals and an assist. Sophomore Nicki Hopkins, making her second straight start, had three points, a steal and a career-high three assists.
Alyssa Parsons led the way for Rider with 11 points off the bench, while Caitlin Bopp had a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
UB concludes non-conference play on Sunday as it travels to Brown for its first game of 2011. Tipoff is set for 2:00 pm in Providence, RI.