BRITTANY MORRISON POST GAME INTERVIEW
NEW YORK, NY – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team (7-1, 0-0 MAC) was able to escape Columbia with a victory on Saturday afternoon thanks to Brittany Morrison who netted the game-winning layup at the buzzer as UB downed the Lions, 65-63. Senior center Cassie Oursler had a career game for the Bulls as she netted career-bests in points with 26 and rebounds with 11 while going 11-for-18 from the floor.
With the score tied, 63-63, with 3.6 seconds remaining the Bulls executed an inbounds play and were fouled with 1.3 ticks left on the clock. UB took a timeout and drew up the final play that was executed perfectly as Cierra Dillard inbounded to a wide open Brittany Morrison who finished off the game-winning layup at the buzzer, giving UB the 65-63 road victory.
The turning point in the game came midway through the fourth quarter as the Bulls committed a technical foul, allowing the Lions to take the 57-50 lead. The Bulls seemed to rely around the quick whistle as they were able to finish the game on a 13-6 run to earn their seventh win of the season.
The Buffalo offense had a slow start on Saturday but Cassie Oursler played strong early on for the Bulls as she scored the first seven UB points. Columbia led 10-5 early on before the UB offense was able to go on a quick 6-0 spurt to take the 11-10 lead as Autumn Jones ran out and netted a fast break bucket after a great assist from Liisa Ups. Buffalo was able to take the 14-12 lead as Summer Hemphill finished off a great feed from Cierra Dillard but the Lions netted a triple at the buzzer to take the 15-14 lead through 10 minutes.
Columbia was able to get out to a quick start in the second quarter as they drilled a pair of triples during an 8-0 run to start things off. However, Buffalo didn't shy away as Jones sparked the Bulls with four fast break points and an assist on a fast break layup by Oursler. Buffalo used defense and run outs to regain the lead behind a 12-2 run, 26-25. The Lions were able to head to the locker room with a 32-27 lead as they ended the half on a 7-1 run.
The third quarter was dominated by a pair of Buffalo players as Cassie Oursler and Autumn Jones combined to score 19 of the Bulls 21 points in the quarter. After an old fashion three-point play gave the Lions the 39-32 lead, Jones was able to connect on a triple and make a fast break layup to bring UB within two of the lead. Oursler then took over the game down the stretch as she was able to score the final nine points of the quarter for Buffalo as UB went to the fourth quarter trailing Columbia 52-48.
Entering the fourth quarter trailing for just the second time this season, the Bulls showed heart and determination over the final 10 minutes. The Lions took the 57-50 lead with just over five minutes remaining but the Bulls responded with a 9-0 spurt that was capped by a Katherine Ups three to give UB the 59-57 lead. Oursler grabbed an offensive rebound and finished off a layup to give UB the 64-59 lead but the Lions fought back and scored four straight to tie the game, 63-63. The UB defense played tight defense and forced a shot clock violation to turn the ball over to the UB offense for the final possession that the Bulls eventually won on with a Morrison layup.
Oursler was the Bulls best player on Saturday as she was able to lead UB with 26 points and 11 rebounds while Jones also netted a career-high 18 points, four assists, three steals and two rebounds across 31 minutes of action. Dillard finished off her afternoon with four points, five assists, two steals and two rebounds while Stephanie Reid returned from injury and finished with four assists and three rebounds in the win.
As a team, Buffalo was able to win pretty much every statistical category as they shot 42.9% from the floor while the Lions were held to 39.0%. The Bulls also won the rebounding battle for the third straight game as they outrebounded the Lions 44-32 for the game including 17 offensive rebounds that they turned into 14 second chance points.
The Bulls dominated the paint on Saturday as they held the 44-22 edge in scoring inside while also owning the 16-0 edge in fast break scoring and 23-8 lead in bench scoring.
Buffalo will return to Western New York for their next two games as they head to St. Bonaventure on Friday for a game against the Bonnies at 7:00 pm. UB will then travel to Niagara to take on the Purple Eagles on December, 18 at 7:00 pm.