Bulls Fall In Final Seconds To Akron, 71-67
BUFFALO, NY – The visiting Akron Zips scored four points in the final seven seconds on Wednesday night, defeating the University at Buffalo women's basketball team, 71-67, at Alumni Arena. The loss drops UB's record to 13-12 and evens their record in the MAC at 6-6.
The Zips led by as many as eight points in the first half as UB had a tough time getting its shooting going. With the Bulls trailing 23-15, UB would go on a 7-0 run to pull within one, getting a spark off the bench from freshman Rachel Bantelman. The Zips got their lead back up to seven with just 1:09 to go in the opening half before junior Brittany Hedderson responded with a three pointer with 30 seconds left. The Zips tried to hold for the last shot, but senior Kourtney Brown stole a pass and was fouled, hitting two free throws and pulling the Bulls to within two at the half, 29-27.
UB found its shooting stoke in the second half, opening the half on a 14-4 run, which was capped off on a jumper by Bridgette Kendricks giving the Bulls a 41-33 lead with 15:19 to go. The Bulls took their largest lead of the game at nine on two free throws from Jessica Fortman with 11:39 left. The Bulls continued to lead in the half, but the Zips made a charge, finally tying the game up at 60-60 with 2:31 to go in the contest.
The Zips would go on to take a two-point lead with 37 seconds left before the Bulls cut it to one on a free throw from Bridgette Kendricks, causing the Bulls to take a time out. UB would go on to foul as Akron's Kara Murphy hit two free throws, giving the Zips a three-point lead with 20 seconds left. The Bulls then called their final timeout, drawing up a game-tying play. The Bulls were successful in tying the game up on a three from Hedderson with nine seconds to go, but following the play the UB bench was called for a technical foul, calling for a timeout it did not have. The Zips then hit both technical free throws and got the ball back, hitting another two foul shots, which gave them a four-point lead. Those four free throws would go on to be the final margin of victory.
Hedderson led the way with 23 points, including a 7-for-10 performance from behind the arc. The seven threes are tied for third most in school history and the most by a UB player since Rachelle Matthys had eight on Nov. 28, 2008. Hedderson also had six rebounds, four assists, a block and two steals. Brown had 19 points, six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and three steals, while Fortman finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal. Kendricks just missed double figures with nine points, seven rebounds and four steals. Ashley Zuber had another great game at the point with a game-high 11 assists and just one turnover.
The 10 turnovers by the Bulls are their fewest in a game since recording just nine in a win over Akron on Feb. 28, 2009. The Bulls again did a nice job of distributing the basketball as they had 19 assists on their 26 made baskets. The UB defense also collected 10 steals for the third time in five games.
UB will be back in action on Saturday when it hits the road for Kent State. The Bulls and Golden Flashes tip off at 2:00 pm.