QUEENS, NY – Senior point guard Stephanie Reid finished off a layup and free throw with just over five seconds remaining to lift the University at Buffalo women's basketball team (9-2, 0-0 MAC) to a 73-72 road victory over St. John's on Thursday afternoon inside Carnesecca Arena. The win for UB marked their first win over a Big East school since 2002 when the Bulls won at St. John's.
Buffalo held onto the 67-66 lead with just under a minute left and Autumn Jones hit the biggest three-pointer of her young career to take the 70-66 lead. St. John's was awarded a suspicious technical and they converted on the ensuing free throws and then connected on a three-pointer to take the 71-70 lead with 38 seconds left. After the Johnnies converted on a free throw to take the 72-70 lead, Reid took over control of the game, running into the lane and finishing off a layup while also getting fouled and making the free throw to give UB the 73-72 lead with five seconds left. UB played strong defense and earned the road win.
After the Red Storm raced out to a 5-2 lead, the Bulls were able to go on a 6-2 run to take their first lead of the game as Summer Hemphill made a pair of layups and Stephanie Reid drilled a jumper to give UB the 8-7 edge. The Red Storm then returned the favor, going on a 9-2 run to regain the 16-10 lead before Brittany Morrison ended the run with a jumper. An Autumn Jones triple was the final bucket of the quarter for UB as the Johnnies were able to cap the quarter with an offensive rebound and layup to give them the 25-15 lead through 10 minutes.
Buffalo opened up the second quarter on a 9-2 run as Ayoleka Sodade opened the quarter with a layup and free throw and Oursler capped the run with an elbow jumper to make the score 26-24 in favor of St. John's. The Red Storm then notched three straight buckets before Cierra Dillard fed Brittany Morrison for a layup and Autumn Jones notched a steal and layup to cut the St. John's lead to one, 32-31. The quarter ended with a St. John's layup and a Reid jumper in the paint as UB entered the locker room trailing 34-33.
The third quarter started with some back-and-forth action as a Katherine Ups layup made the score 40-38 in favor of the Red Storm. St. John's was able to take control of the game midway through the quarter as they went on a 6-0 run to take the 46-38 lead. Buffalo finished the quarter strong as Autumn Jones earned a steal and layup to tie the game, 51-51, through three quarters.
The two teams exchanged blows in the final quarter as neither team led by more than two until three minutes remaining in the quarter when Cierra Dillard made a pair of free throws to make the score 67-63 in favor of the Bulls. St. John's then connected on a triple to cut the UB lead to one before Autumn Jones made her clutch three and Reid finished off the game-winner.
Jones was a huge spark off the bench for the Bulls on Thursday as she was able to net 17 points, a career-high four steals and two assists while connecting on 4-of-6 from behind the arc. Reid continued her strong play as she finished with 16 points, five assists and four rebounds while Oursler had a great game in the post as she netted 12 points, nine rebounds, a career-high three assists and two blocks. Hemphill played strong on the glass finishing with 10 rebounds, six points and a block while Morrison contributed eight points and four boards off the bench.
As a team, the Red Storm were able to shoot 47.1% from the floor while UB shot 44.1%. The stingy UB defense forced 23 St. John's turnovers and they turned those chances into 22 points. Buffalo won the rebounding battle on Thursday 38-30 while dominating the paint, outscoring the Red Storm 40-26.
The game-winner for Reid was the second biggest of her career behind the game-winner in the 2016 MAC Championship game that sent UB to their first NCAA Tournament game. It was also the second game-winning shot by a Buffalo player in New York City as Brittany Morrison made the winner against Columbia.
The Bulls will now have a little break before heading to Akron for their MAC opener against the Zips on December 30 at 7:00 pm.