LOUDONVILLE, NY – The Buffalo women's basketball team fell on the road Saturday afternoon, losing to Siena (4-3) 64-60. It was thanks in part to a big run to start the second half, and issues breaking a persistent Siena full-court press. Kristen Sharkey led all scorers with 23, and Christa Baccas added 13 rebounds for the Bulls (5-3).
In the first half, another strong start put UB ahead 9-0 off the tip, with Siena not hitting a field goal until the 14:29 mark. Loesing was a main reason why, scoring seven of the team's first 13 points, but foul trouble would limit her to just seven minutes on the court in the first half. A key factor in the opening half would be free throw shooting, with Buffalo making 13-15 while the Saints would make just 3-11. The Bulls would take a 35-25 lead into the break, with Sharkey scoring 14 points on a perfect 7-7 half from the field.
The second half would be dictated by Siena, who forced a Buffalo timeout at the 15:29 mark thanks to a 15-4 outburst that would put the Bulls behind for the first time all day, 40-39. The teams would trade leads back and forth throughout the half, with seven lead changes and another tie for the rest of the game. Foul trouble quickly became an issue for UB, who was already playing without starting point guard Margeaux Gupilan. The Bulls would lose Karin Moss to a foul out with well over 10 minutes left in the half, and Loesing would bow out soon after with just 16 minutes of playing time.
With depleted depth at the guard position, the Siena full court pressure would prove to be even tougher, as it would ultimately force 28 turnovers and score 24 points off of them. Another factor would be on the glass, with Siena able to pull down 19 offensive rebounds and out-boarded UB 50-42 for the game. Baccas would be the lone player in double figures for rebounding, and the Saints countered with seven different players pulling down four rebounds or more.
At the 3:22 mark, the game saw its second tie of the game, and the Saints would take the lead for good thanks to a 6-0 burst that was capped by a three pointer as the shot clock expired with 32 seconds to go that put the host school up by six. Jenna Rickan would get it back with a three on UB's next time down, and a steal off the ensuing inbounds pass would lead to a Baccas layup and a one point game with 17 seconds left. Siena would hit its free throws to go back up three, and a deep three from Cherridy Thornton would fall short.
Rickan would be a critical body off the bench for Buffalo, as she set a new career high with seven points in just 10 minutes of playing time. Sharkey would miss just one field goal attempt in the entire game, going 10-11, but UB would score just 12 points in the paint in the second half.
Next up for the team will be back-to-back rivalry games, starting Tuesday against St. Bonaventure. It will be a 7 pm tip time in Olean, with UB looking to snap a five-game losing streak to the Bonnies.