TOLEDO, OH – Behind a strong team effort, the University at Buffalo women's basketball team (17-4, 8-2 MAC) earned their first ever win at Toledo, downing the Rockets 84-73. Summer Hemphill earned her second straight double-double, notching 18 points, 13 rebounds and three steals in the road victory.
The Bulls had a slow start offensively as the Rockets opened up the 5-0 lead before Stephanie Reid finished off a layup to make it 5-2. Cassie Oursler then became the focal point of the UB offense and she produced as she made three straight shots to make the score 12-10 in favor of the Rockets. After Toledo hit a free throw to take the 13-10 lead, Buffalo went on a quick 7-0 run which was capped by a layup and free throw from Cierra Dillard to see UB take their first lead of the game, 17-13. After the Rockets got back within one, 17-16, Dillard finished off the quarter with a half-court shot to give the Bulls the 20-16 edge through 10 minutes.
The Bulls carried the momentum from Dillard's half-court shot into the second quarter as they were able to open up the 26-18 lead after a Mariah Suchan jumper in the paint and a layup from Katherine Ups. However, Toledo was able to respond quickly with a 13-4 run to take the 31-30 lead. Buffalo didn't let the lead last long as they went on a 9-0 run of their own to take the 38-31 lead. The run was capped by a Suchan layup that forced a Toledo timeout. Summer Hemphill took over down the stretch of the first half as she grabbed three offensive rebounds and finished off three layups to send UB to the locker room with the 45-35 lead.
The two teams went back-and-forth to start the third quarter as the Rockets drilled a triple to cut the UB lead to 10, 54-44, with five minutes left in the quarter. Buffalo responded with six straight points to take the 60-44 lead as Dillard finished off a layup, Hemphill finished a fast break layup and Reid grabbed an offensive rebound and finished off a layup of her own. Toledo finished off a three point play to cut the UB lead to 67-56 but Dillard finished off the quarter with three points to give UB the 70-56 lead heading into the final quarter.
The Rockets were able to cut into the Bulls lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter as Mikaela Boyd drilled a jumper to make the score 74-67 in favor of the Bulls. Oursler was able to end the Toledo run with a hook shot, her 1,000th career point, to make the score 76-67 with four minutes left in the game. Suchan was able to finish off a layup after a great feed from Reid to give the Bulls the 78-68 lead but the Rockets responded with five straight to make it 78-73 with just over a minute left. Katherine Ups had the Bulls biggest bucket of the game as she finished off a layup and Reid and Dillard drilled their free throws down the stretch to secure the 84-73 road victory.
Dillard finished off her seventh 20+ scoring game of the season with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists while going 8-for-14 from the floor. Hemphill finished off her second straight double-double with 18 points, 13 rebounds and three steals across 23 minutes while Oursler notched 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in the win.
Reid continued her steady play at the point as she netted 13 points, three rebounds and two assists while off the bench, Suchan netted eight points and Autumn Jones netted five points and five rebounds.
As a team, the Bulls were able to score a season-high 66 points in the paint while the Rockets were only able to net 38 points in the paint. Buffalo also won the battle on the boards as they grabbed 46 rebounds, including 15 offensive rebounds. UB also scored 22 second chance points in the win over Toledo.
The Bulls improved to 13-0 this season when shooting a higher percentage from the floor than their opponents as UB shot 49.3% and the Rockets were held to 44.6%. Buffalo also improved to 11-0 on the year when winning the rebounding battle as they outrebounded the Rockets 46-32.
The Bulls will return to the hardwood on Wednesday night as they return to Alumni Arena for a MAC contest against Kent State. The Bulls and Golden Flashes will tip at 7:00 pm on Wednesday night and the game will air on ESPN3.