Long Range Shooting Leads Bulls Past Eastern Michigan, 79-63
YPSILANTI, MI - The University at Buffalo women's basketball team recorded a season-high 23 assists and shot 50.0% from the floor, defeating Eastern Michigan, 79-63, Saturday afternoon at the Convocation Center. The victory snaps a three-game losing streak for the Bulls and improves them to 6-5 in Mid-American Conference play.
The Bulls never trailed in the contest, which was tied three times early, the last at 6-6. Following that tie, UB went on a 15-0 run, using three pointers from three different players to fuel the run. The Bulls went 7-of-17 from three point range in the opening half, leading by as many as 19 following a three pointer from sophomore Sloane Walton. UB went on to take a 42-26 lead into the half, shooting over 58% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. The 42 points scored by UB were its most in a first half this season.
Eastern Michigan worked its way back to within 10 over the first five and a half minutes of the second half, but a three pointer from Margeaux Gupilan started a 16-6 run, which was capped off on a three pointer from Mackenzie Loesing. The Bulls continued their big lead with 3:46 left as another three from Walton gave UB a 69-51 advantage. The Eagles made a late run, but never got closer than 10.
"When our system is working at its best, it gives an opportunity for everyone on the court to be successful and I thought today we ran it very well," said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. "We played very unselfishly today and this result shows what can happen when you trust your teammates on the court and play as a team."
The Bulls had four players in double figures led by 16 points from redshirt junior Cherridy Thornton, who added four rebounds and four assists off the bench. Loesing had 15 points, 10 of those coming in the second half. After being in foul trouble in the first half, Gupilan came back and nearly put up a double-double with 13 points and a career-high nine assists. Sophomore Christa Baccas finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, two assists and three blocked shots.
Senior Nicki Hopkins also knocked down a pair of triples and added a career-high six assists, while Walton had nine points on three made three pointers. Freshman Karin Moss also knocked down a first-half three pointer. Redshirt sophomore Kristen Sharkey had two points and three rebounds.
The Bulls finished with 23 assists on 28 made baskets and went 11-of-12 from the free throw line, including 10-of-11 in the second half. The Bulls have now won their last two meetings against EMU in Ypsilanti.
Eastern Michigan was led by 13 points and 13 rebounds from India Hairston, one of two EMU players with double-doubles. The Eagles did most of their damage on the boards, recording 23 second-chance points.
Buffalo will return home for just the second time this month when it hosts Miami (OH) on Wednesday night at Alumni Arena. Tip off scheduled for 7:00 pm.