SYRACUSE, NY – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team was unable to deal with a strong post presence and suffocating full-court defense, falling at Syracuse on Tuesday night, 79-59, at the Carrier Dome. The loss evens UB's record to 2-2.
For nearly the entire 40 minutes, Syracuse used full court pressure, which forced the Bulls into 16 first half turnovers. The Bulls were unable to get the ball inside early on, but kept things close with clutch three-point shooting. It wasn't until the 13:09 mark in the first half that UB had its first two-point basket, and that came on a long jumper from Ephesia Holmes. Syracuse led by as many as 18 points in the opening half, but the Bulls did get some momentum heading into the break on a steal and fast break layup from Teresa Semalulu in the final moments of the half.
The Bulls did a much better job of taking care of the basketball in the second half, turning it over just six times. However, Syracuse still used its advantage down low, scoring 42 second-half points. The Orange got out to their largest lead of the game at 26 with 5:23 left, but the Bulls answered with a three from freshman Valerie Majewski. Syracuse would regain a 25-point lead with just under a minute remaining, but the Bulls scored the final five points of the game to make the final margin 79-59.
The Bulls were led by a season-high 20 points from Brittany Hedderson, who really turned it on in the second half, scoring 14 of her points in the final 20 minutes. Hedderson added two rebounds and four assists, playing all 40 minutes. Holmes finished with a season-high 15 points in 31 minutes, as she was outstanding shooting from the floor. She went 5-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc.
Majewski finished with a career-high eight points, hitting two three pointers, while also adding two rebounds, an assist and two steals. Semalulu added four points, six rebounds and three assists, while Nytor Longar finished with four points, eight rebounds and a career-best five blocked shots.
As a team, the Bulls shot 8-of-15 from behind the arc, hitting at 53.3%. The three-point performance was UB's best since shooting 64.3% against Ohio on January 16, 2010. The 59 points scored by the Bulls have actually been the most allowed in a game by Syracuse this season.
The Orange (4-0) had three players in double figures, led by 23 points and nine rebounds from Carmen Tyson-Thomas. Iasia Hemingway added 18 points and eight rebounds.
The Bulls will remain on the road this weekend as they head to Storrs, CT for the World Vision Classic. UB will face Dayton on Friday at 5:00 pm.