STEPHANIE REID POST GAME INTERVIEW
AKRON, OH – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team (10-2, 1-0 MAC) opened up Mid-American Conference play in impressive fashion on Saturday afternoon on the road in Akron as they handed the Zips an 89-66 defeat. The 89 points for UB was a season-high as head coach Felisha Legette-Jack also notched her 100th victory as head coach of the Bulls in just over five seasons.
The difference in the game was the swarming Buffalo defense as they were able to hold the Zips to just 34.5% shooting from the floor while also forcing 20 turnovers. The Bulls turned those 20 turnovers into 25 points while also notching 13 steals, two or more by four different players.
Buffalo got off to a great start through the first four minutes as Katherine Ups drilled a pair of three-pointers and a Cassie Oursler jumper capped a 10-2 run that forced Akron to take an early timeout. After an Akron bucket, Summer Hemphill finished off a layup and free throw and Oursler drained another jumper. Akron made it 17-7 with two minutes to play in the first but Autumn Jones made a pair of free throws and a fast break layup before Katherine Ups finished the quarter with another layup in the open court to give UB the 23-7 lead through 10 minutes.
Both sides exchanged jumpers to open the second quarter before the Zips nailed a three-pointer to cut the UB lead to 14. Oursler then took over with back-to-back buckets and Jones made a fast break jumper to give the Bulls the 35-16 lead midway through the second quarter. Theresa Onwuka entered the game and made a quick impact as she slashed to the bucket and finished a layup before Oursler found Reid for a deep triple to make the score 40-19 in favor of UB. Dillard finished off the scoring in the half for the Bulls as she snagged an offensive rebound and finished off a layup as UB went to the locker room leading 44-28 through 20 minutes.
The Buffalo offense was able to put the game away in the third quarter as they netted 28 points to extend their lead out to 20, 72-52. Jones was able to notch eight quick points off the bench and Hemphill finished the quarter with back-to-back layups to give Buffalo the comfortable lead. Through three quarters, UB was shooting 56% from the floor.
The Bulls were able to give some bench players big minutes in the fourth quarter as they entered the final 10 minutes with the 20-point lead. Onwuka was able to make a nice fast break bucket while Marissa Hamilton drained a pair of three-pointers in the final quarter. Courtney Wilkins closed out the scoring for UB with a fast break layup after a nice feed from Hanna Hall as the Bulls ran away with the 89-66 road victory.
The 89 points for UB are their most in a MAC victory since January 26, 2011 when the Bulls posted a 92-89 road win at Central Michigan. The 34 made field goals for the Bulls were a season-high as they shot 51.5% from the field.
Oursler led the Buffalo offensive onslaught on Saturday as she netted 18 points, five assists, three rebounds and two blocks while going 8-for-15 from the floor. With two blocks on Saturday, Oursler moved into 10th place on UB's all-time blocks list with 100 career rejections.
Jones came off the UB bench and tied a career-high with 18 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals while Katherine Ups posted 12 points and three rebounds across 23 minutes.
Senior point guard Stephanie Reid was the Bulls best player all game long as she netted her seventh career double-double with 11 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and four steals. The Australia native posted her 10th career game with double digit assists as she now sits just 49 assists shy of the Bulls program record for assists in a career.
Buffalo will return home for their first game in nearly a month on Wednesday, January 3 as they welcome the Western Michigan Broncos to Alumni Arena for a MAC showdown. Tip is set for 7:00 pm.