BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo women's basketball team hung tight with the defending Atlantic 10 Champions and Sweet Sixteen participant St. Bonaventure on Wednesday night, leading for the majority of the contest before falling late to the Bonnies, 64-55. Freshman Rachael Gregory set career highs in points and rebounds, notching her first career double-double.
The Bulls opened the game on a 17-9 run over the first eight minutes as they were extremely efficient from the floor. Freshman Karin Moss hit a pair of threes early as buffalo hit seven of its first 13 shots, but recorded just 12 field goals for the remainder of the contest. The Bulls went up 20-11 with just over nine minutes left in the opening half, but went scoreless over the next eight and a half minutes, finally breaking the drought with a Gregory jumper with 53 second left. The Bulls went on to take a 22-21 lead into the half.
The Bonnies opened the second half on a 10-2 run to take a seven point lead just four minutes in, and continued to lead 35-30 when Buffalo answered with nine straight points, capped off on a layup from Gregory. Buffalo went back up by five with 7:30 left, but a three pointer from Ashley Zahn with 5:00 left gave the Bonnies the lead for good.
"I thought the game was called a little different in the two halves and we didn't do a good job adjusting to it," said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. "We saw some good things tonight, but this continues to be a learning process for our team, which is extremely young."
Gregory finished her night with 18 points and 13 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive end. She also had a block and three steals in 37 minutes of action. Sophomore Christa Baccas just missed a double-double as she finished with nine points and nine rebounds, also adding an assists, two blocks and a steal.
Junior Margeaux Gupilan had seven points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Moss and Sloane Walton each finished with six points. Freshman Mackenzie Loesing added five points off the bench.
St. Bonaventure, which improved to 5-5 on the year, was led by 19 points from Zahn, including an 8-for-8 performance from the free throw line. Doris Ortega added 15 points and six rebounds. The Bulls held the Bonnies to just 26.1 percent from the field in the first half, but the Bonnies were able to shoot over 48 percent over the final 20 minutes.
The Bulls continue their four-game homestand on Saturday as they host Binghamton at 5:00 pm. It will be the first game in a doubleheader with the UB men's team.