BOWLING GREEN , OH - For nearly 40 minutes, the University at Buffalo women's basketball team hung in on the road against the defending MAC Champions, Bowling Green, but the host Falcons emerged late, defeating Buffalo, 62-52. The game was UB's first ever at the Stroh Center, Bowling Green's new on campus arena.
The Bulls came out firing early in the first half as they opened the game on an 11-4 run over the first four and half minutes, capped on a steal and fast break layup from senior Teresa Semalulu. The Bulls led by as many as nine at 16-7, but the Falcons responded with a 9-0 run of their own to tie the game up. It remained a one possession game until the Bulls scored five straight points to take a 29-24 lead with just 30 second left in the half. However, the Falcons would score four points over the last 30 seconds as the Bulls went into the break up one.
It remained a one possession game either way over the first six and a half minutes of the second half before four straight Bowling Green points gave it the lead for good. The Falcons would go up by six, but each time the Bulls would cut their deficit back to four. The Bulls continued to trail by just four with 1:40 left, but the Falcons hit a bucket and six straight free throws giving them their largest lead of the game at 62-50. UB would hit the final bucket to make it a 10-point game.
"I am pleased with the way we fought tonight against one of the top teams in the league, but we got into big foul trouble and missed some big shots," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "Playing in a tough venue like this, it just proves that we can play with any team in the league. We need to come out and play hard every day for 40 minutes."
The Bulls were led by 15 points from Brittany Hedderson, who added five rebounds, five assists, a block and three steals. Semalulu again reached double figures as she had 12 points, four rebounds and two steals. Senior Ephesia Holmes picked up the starts and finished with nine points and five rebounds in 32 minutes of action.
Senior Beth Christensen added six points and 10 rebounds, two assists, three blocks and three steals, while freshman Christa Baccas had six points and three rebounds off the bench. Redshirt junior Nytor Longar played just 13 minutes as she was in foul trouble all night, fouling out with 3:37 left in the second half. She had four points and two rebounds while in the game.
Bowling Green had two players finish with double-doubles as Alexis Rogers finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds and Chrissy Steffen had 13 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Jessica Slagle had a game-high 19 points, including 9-of-11 from the free throw line.
The Bulls are back in action on Saturday as they begin a season-long three-game homestand. UB hosts Miami (OH) at 2:00 pm.