TOLEDO, OH - The University at Buffalo women's basketball team hung tight with the defending MAC West champion Toledo Rockets on Saturday, but ultimately fell, 59-44, picking up its first conference defeat of the season. For the fourth straight game, the Buffalo defense allowed less than 60 points to its opponent.
The Rockets opened the game with six straight points and led by as many as 10 at 19-9 when UB went on a 15-5 run to tie the game at 24-24. Two free throws from freshman Mackenzie Loesing gave Buffalo its only lead of the game at 26-25 with 1:33 left in the opening half. However, Toledo responded with a three-pointer and took a 28-26 lead into the half.
Redshirt sophomore Kristen Sharkey opened the second half with two free throws, tying the game at 28-28, but the host Rockets scored seven straight points and led for the remainder of the contest. UB managed to pull within five at 44-39, following a layup from Christa Baccas, but it would get no closer. Toledo closed out the game on a 15-5.
"I thought we played extremely hard today and I am proud of effort, but offensively we struggled," said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. "We faced a very good team today and we are going to learn from this experience and continue to grow."
Sharkey finished with her second double-double of the season, leading the Bulls with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Loesing added eight points and a career-high 10 rebounds, while Baccas also had eight points off the bench, with seven rebounds and four monster blocks.
Toledo, which improved to 15-2 and 3-1 in the MAC, was led by 20 points from Andola Dortch, the only Rockets starter to reach double figures. Brianna Jones had 10 points off the bench. Toledo benefited from 23 offensive rebounds, which it turned into 22 second chance points.
The Bulls return home for two straight beginning this Wednesday night as they host Ball State at 7:00 pm.