AKRON, OH – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team won its third consecutive game on Wednesday night, defeating Akron in its MAC opener, 61-45, at Rhodes Arena. The Bulls improve to 8-6 on the season and win their MAC opener for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
The Zips took an early lead in the game scoring seven of the first nine points, taking their largest lead of the game at five just two minutes into the game. The Bulls responded with an 8-0 run to take their first lead of the game on a basket by senior Kourtney Brown. UB led by as many as seven in the opening half as Brown had 17 of her game-high 28 points in the opening 20 minutes. The Bulls took a 26-21 lead into the half.
UB got its lead up to 12 early in the second half on a jumper from Brittany Hedderson with 17:44 left in the half. The Bulls got their lead up to 13 before Akron went on an 8-0 to cut the Buffalo lead to five with 11:14 left. The Bulls responded right back and a three pointer from Ashley Zuber sparked a 7-0 run that put the Bulls back up by double digits at 48-36. The Bulls would go on to hold a double-digit lead for the rest of the game, leading by as many as 17 on a jumper from Bridgette Kendricks with 1:32 left in the game.
"Every game is important but the way you start the MAC season certainly sets the stage for your season," head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald said."I thought we played hard, most of the time we were smart. We were able to take advantage of what Akron gave us and were able to get the ball inside to Kourtney Brown, which is always good."
Brown led the way with 28 points, while adding eight rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. Kendricks had a season-high 10 points, including eight in the second half. She added five rebounds, all on the defensive end. Zuber and Hedderson each finished with nine points as Zuber added five rebounds, four assists and two steals. UB, who got all of its points from its starters, received five points from Jessica Fortman, who tied her season high with 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals. Junior Beth Christensen provided seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals off the bench.
The Bulls, who have now won four of their last five ganes, have allowed less than 55 points in each of those four games. Tonight, Akron shot just 29.3 percent from the floor, including just 23.8 percent from three-point range. The Zips were led by Jasmine Mushington who was Akron's only double figure scorer with 15 points.
The Bulls return home for the first time in 2011 on Saturday as they host Kent State in the first game of a doubleheader with the UB men. The women tip off at 5 pm, while the men host Bowling Green at 7 pm.