PROVIDENCE, RI – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team tied its win total from last season on Sunday afternoon, ending non-conference play with a 58-53 win at Brown. The Bulls conclude non-conference play at 7-6 with MAC play beginning Wednesday night at Akron.
The Bulls took an early 7-2 lead in the game, only to have Brown tie it up on five straight points. The Bulls then went on to take their largest lead of the half as they scored eight straight points, beginning on a three from senior Ashley Zuber. Sophomore Nicki Hopkins capped off the run with a triple of her own. The Bears cut the lead to one with 7:11 left in the opening half, but a three from Brittany Hedderson put the Bulls back up by seven with 1:31 left in the half. Brown would cut it to within four, but senior Kourtney Brown converted a conventional three-point play with two seconds left in the half as the Bulls took a 32-25 advantage into the break.
Brown went on to open the second half on a 9-0 run to take its first lead of the game at 34-32 and had its biggest lead of the game at four with 15:22 left at 38-34. Brown continued to lead by one at 47-46 with 9:17 left in the game when four straight Buffalo points put the Bulls back up by three. Brown again cut it to one with 7:12 left at 51-50, but freshman Kristen Sharkey responded with a three pointer, igniting a 7-0 Buffalo run that put it up 58-50 with 3:08 left. The Bears would hit a three with 2:16 to go, but that would be the final points scored by either team as UB picked up its first single-digit victory of the season.
"They are a very aggressive and smart team and they exploited some of our defensive weaknesses," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "With that being said, we are very happy to get a win and finish non-conference play on a positive note."
Kourtney Brown recorded her 37th career double-double as she finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds. The 11 boards move her into second place in school history in career rebounding with 910. Zuber had another strong game for the Bulls with 11 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Hedderson had nine points, all in the first half, on three made three pointers. Senior Bridgtte Kendricks had six points and six rebounds, while Hopkins had six points on two made three pointers. Sharkey had five points, while Jessica Fortman finished with four. Junior Beth Christensen added two rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal.
Brown was led by Lauren Clarke, who finished with 19 points and seven steals. Hannah Passafuime finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Bulls conclude their four-game road trip on Wednesday night at Akron. Tipoff is set for 7:00 pm.