FULL GAME NOTES (.PDF)
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo women's basketball team (23-4, 14-2 MAC) will look to close out their regular season road slate on a high note on Wednesday night as they travel to the Kent State Golden Flashes for a MAC east battle. The Bulls will be looking to tie the program record for road victories in a season (10) as they clash with the Flashes for the second time as they downed their MAC east foe 80-42 earlier this season inside Alumni Arena. Tip is set for 7:00 pm on Wednesday night at the M.A.C. Center in Kent and the game will air live on ESPN3.
Wednesday's road finale can also be listened to on ESPN1520 AM or on the tunein app as Matt Mattia will get you started for action starting at 6:30 pm with the UB Women's Basketball pregame show.
- The Bulls will be looking for their eight straight win on Wednesday night as they head to Kent State for a rematch with the Golden Flashes at 7:00 pm. The Bulls handed Kent State the 80-42 defeat earlier this season at Alumni Arena.
- This marks the 30th meeting of all-time between the two programs with the Flashes holding the slim 15-14 edge over the Bulls. UB has been dominant of late, winning 11 of their last 12 meetings.
- The Bulls received some national media attention on Monday morning as they earned two votes in the latest Associated Press Top-25 Poll, marking the latest in a season the Bulls have ever received votes in the AP poll.
- Buffalo currently sits at #13 in the latest RPI poll, marking the highest ranking the Bulls have ever received. UB is also the highest ranked mid-major program in the country.
- Sophomore forward Summer Hemphill is coming off of a record setting game against Ohio last time out as she grabbed a division I program record 23 rebounds. The 23-rebound effort marks the 2nd most in a game in MAC history, 24 is the MAC record for a single game.
- The 14 MAC wins so far this season for the Bulls are the most in program history. UB has now notched at least 10 MAC victories in four of the last five seasons under Coach Jack. Prior to Coach Jack taking over, the Bulls only produced one season with 10 MAC wins, 2000-01.
- Senior point guard Stephanie Reid is one of just three active players in the NCAA to accumulate at least 1,100 points, 600 assists, 300 rebounds and 200 steals over their career (Jordin Canada - UCLA and Emily Clemens - Western Illinois).
BULLS LOOK FOR REGULAR SEASON SWEEP OF KENT STATE
After winning their seventh straight game on Saturday afternoon, the Bulls will return to the road on Wednesday night for a rematch with the Kent State Golden Flashes. The Bulls collected a 80-42 victory over the Flashes in a meeting earlier this season inside Alumni Arena. The Bulls enter the game with a 23-4 overall record and a 14-2 MAC mark while the Flashes enter with a 12-16 overall record and a 5-11 MAC mark. Wednesday's game will air live on ESPN3 at 7:00 pm and you can also listen in on the radio on ESPN1520 with Matt Mattia on the call starting at 6:30 pm with the UB women's basketball pregame show.
UB EARNS COME-FROM-BEHIND WIN OVER OHIO
After struggling offensively in the first half against Ohio on Saturday, the Bulls were able to turn things around in the second half and earn the come-from-behind victory over the Bobcats in front of 3,128 fans at Alumni Arena. Trailing 26-21 at half, the Bulls turned up the intensity in the second half and scored a season-high 49 points to take the 70-53 victory. Sophomore Summer Hemphill led the way for UB as she notched her fifth double-double of the season as she netted 10 points and grabbed a program division I record 23 rebounds, four blocks and two assists in the win. Junior Autumn Jones had a major impact off the UB bench as she netted 14 points on 4-for-9 from behind the arc while Cassie Oursler netted 12 points and nine rebounds in the win. As a team, the Bulls won the battle in the paint 32-18 while once again winning the fast break scoring category, 14-2.
HEMPHILL SETS DIVISION I REBOUNDING RECORD
Sophomore forward Summer Hemphill had one of the best rebounding games in MAC history on Saturday in the win over Ohio as she was able to grab 23 rebounds. The 23-rebound effort by Hemphill set a Buffalo division I record for rebounds in a game, breaking the old record of 22 that was set in 2009 by UB great Kourtney Brown. The 23 boards were also the 2nd most ever grabbed in a game in MAC history as Joelyn Shoup (1985) and Marvetta Froe (1990) were able to grab 24 boards, respectively. The Bulls all-time school record for rebounds in a game is 26 by Janet Lilley in 1979-80.
BUFFALO EARNS VOTES IN AP AND COACHES POLLS
For the first time this season, the University at Buffalo women's basketball team has received two votes in the Associated Press Top-25 poll. This marks the latest in a season the Bulls have received votes in the AP poll in program history. UB also earned a program-best seven votes in the USA Today Coaches' Top-25 poll, marking the sixth straight week UB has earned votes in the poll, longest streak in program history.
After the win over Ohio on Saturday, the Bulls will either be the #1 or #2 seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament for the first time in school history. Prior to this season, the highest MAC Tournament seed the Bulls had received was fourth, on three occasions. In order to be the #1 seed, the Bulls will need to collect wins over Kent State and Bowling Green and have Central Michigan lose one of their final two games. The Chippewas play Ball State on Wednesday night and Toledo on Saturday afternoon. Buffalo also received some national attention on Monday morning as they were picked as a #9 seed for the NCAA Tournament in the latest Bracketology released by ESPN. The #9 seed for the Bulls would be an at large bid and they were matched up against #8 California in the Starkeville, MS bracket.
BULLS SET SIGHTS ON PROGRAM RECORD FOR WINS
With two games remaining in the regular season and at least one postseason game left, the University at Buffalo women's basketball team looks primed and ready to set the program record for wins in a season as they tied the record last time out with the win over Ohio. The Bulls currently sit at 23-4 overall and 14-2 in the MAC as they will look to set a new school record for wins (24) as they head to Kent State on Wednesday night. The school record of 23 wins was set during the 1995-96 campaign when the Bulls were part of the Mid-Continent Conference (now the Summit League) and during the 1991-92 season when the Bulls were in the East Coast Conference. UB will also be looking to tie the school record for road wins in a season as they currently own a 9-4 road mark, the school record of 10 road wins was set in 1999-00.
THREE STRAIGHT 20+ WIN SEASONS
The wins continue to pile up for the Bulls of late as Buffalo has secured their third straight season with 20+ wins for just the second time in program history as they also did so from 1994-97, their first three seasons in division I. Buffalo has also now posted five straight 17+ win seasons under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack, marking the first time this has happened in program history. Prior to Legette-Jack taking over the UB program, Buffalo saw just seven seasons with 17+ victories with their last one coming in 2002-03 season when they won 18 games. The Bulls and Ball State are the only MAC teams who currently have recorded five straight seasons with 17+ wins. The Bulls are currently the only MAC team to win 19+ games in four straight seasons, including this season. Ohio has done so in three straight but currently own a 15-12 overall record.
MOST #MACTION WINS IN PROGRAM HISTORY
With their win over Ohio on Saturday, the Bulls continue to add to their program record for MAC victories as they have now secured 14 conference wins for the first time in program history. Prior to this season, the most MAC wins the Bulls ever produced in a season was 11 which they recorded in 2014-15. UB has now notched four seasons with at least 10 MAC victories under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. Prior to Coach Jack taking over the Bulls, Buffalo saw just one season with 10 MAC victories, 2000-01. UB is a perfect 8-0 against MAC East foes this season while beating them by an average of 17.2 points/game. Overall in MAC games this season, Buffalo ranks 2nd in points/game (80.4 PPG).
REWRITING THE HISTORY BOOK
The Bulls have put together a historic start to their 2017-18 campaign as they currently own a 23-4 overall record and a 14-2 MAC mark. The 22-4 start to the season is the best start in the programs division I history. The Bulls 14-2 MAC start marks their best start to MAC play since joining the conference in 1998-99. Buffalo has claimed conference victories over Western Michigan, Akron twice, Miami (OH) twice, Ball State, Ohio twice, Toledo twice, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Central Michigan and Bowling Green by an average of 14.6 points/game while outscoring all opponents this season by an average of 11.6 points/game. The Bulls have tied the program record for wins in a season with 23.
THE CLIMB IS REAL
After collecting a pair of wins last week, the UB women's basketball team checks in at #13 in the latest RPI poll released by the NCAA on Tuesday. This marks the highest ranking ever by UB this late in the season and is also the highest ranking of any mid-major program. UB also garnered some national attention as they received a program-record seven votes in the latest USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll, marking a program record sixth straight week UB has earned a vote, and two votes in the AP poll. UB has posted 13 wins over teams currently ranked inside the top-120 in the latest RPI rankings as they downed Central Michigan (#27), Ball State (#36), Nebraska (#64), St. John's (#70), Toledo (twice) (#63), UNLV (#80), Ohio twice (#82), Miami (OH) (twice) (#84), Delaware (#114) and Western Michigan (#117). The Bulls average margin of victory over the 11 teams they defeated in the top-100 of the RPI poll is 10.6 points/game.
RUN EM' OFF THE LINE
A focus of this Buffalo team has been defending the three-point shot and the Bulls have taken that to heart through 27 games this season. The Bulls rank 1st in the MAC and 19th in the NCAA in three-point field goal defense as they are allowing their opponents to shoot just 27.6% from behind the arc. UB is allowing just 5.6 made three-pointers made/game on 20.1 attempts/game. The Bulls have held 11 opponents to less that five three pointers made in a game this season including three of their last seven. The Bulls have held 25 of their 27 opponents to under 40% from behind the arc this season. UB has held its last five opponents to 29-for-122 from behind the arc (23.7%). UB also leads the conference in three point defense across 16 conference games as they are holding their opponents to just 27.5% shooting from deep. Earlier this season, Buffalo held Clemson to no three pointers, marking the first time that has happened since November 14, 2015 when they held LIU Brooklyn to 0-for-14 from deep.
BULLS RANK 11TH IN NCAA IN STEALS
The Bulls pride themselves on defense and they have turned into one of the best teams in the nation in creating steals. Buffalo currently averages 11.8 steals/game which ranks 2nd in the MAC and ranks 11th in the NCAA. Last time out, Buffalo produced six steals as Cierra Dillard led the way with two. The Bulls currently have six players that average over a steal/game while junior Cierra Dillard leads the Bulls averaging 2.7 steals/game which ranks 2nd in the MAC and 31st in the NCAA. Senior Stephanie Reid currently ranks 2nd in the MAC in steals/game in conference games as she is averaging 2.8 thefts and currently ranks 9th in UB history with 203 career steals.
PAINTING A NEW PICTURE
The Bulls are beginning to dominate the paint as of late and that is making head coach Felisha Legette-Jack very happy as UB has won or tied the scoring in the paint category in 23 of their last 24 games overall. Last time out, the Bulls were able to hold the 32-18 edge over Ohio in the paint as Summer Hemphill and Cassie Oursler did most of their damage from in close. In the Bulls road win at Toledo earlier this year, UB was able to set a new program record as they scored 66 points in the paint, scoring 33 of their 36 field goals inside the painted area. The Bulls are now 20-3 this season when winning the battle inside as they are averaging 37.7 points/game in the paint while holding their opponents to an average of 25.1 points/game down low.
LETS GET OFFENSIVE
The Buffalo offense underwent a change this offseason to become a quicker, more effective unit and that has produced some strong offensive efforts during the Bulls 23-4 start. The Bulls have now produced 13 games, seven of their last 10, of 80+ points this season, marking the most 80+ point games in a season since joining the MAC in 1998-99. The 13 games with 80+ points are the most in a season overall by the Bulls since doing it 14 times during the 1996-97 season when UB was in the Mid-Continent Conference (Now called the Summit League). UB has also scored at least 70 points in 21 of their 27 games this season including 14 of 16 MAC games. Earlier this season against EMU, the UB offense netted 97 points which are the most in a game since January 13, 1996 when UB posted 99 points in a win over Chicago State. The UB offense ranks 2nd in MAC contests in scoring as they are averaging 80.4 points/game.
CLEANING THE GLASS
One of the keys to the Bulls success this season has been their ability to rebound the basketball. The Bulls currently rank 1st in the MAC and 9th in the NCAA in rebounds/game as they are averaging 43.8/game. The Bulls are also limiting their opponents to while holding their oppoents to 39.4 rebounds/game. Buffalo is 17-0 this season when winning the rebounding battle and just 4-3 when they are outrebounded by their opponents. UB has won the rebounding battle in seven straight games which has led them to a program record 23-4 start. In conference games, UB leads the MAC as they are grabbing an average 45.8 rebounds/game. Buffalo currently has two players ranked inside the top-5 in the MAC in rebounds in conference games as Cassie Oursler is averaging 9.1/game and Summer Hemphill is averaging 8.9/game.
Despite missing star point guard Stephanie Reid for four games earlier this season, the Bulls have been able to dish out their fair share of assists during their record 23-4 start to the season. UB currently ranks 2nd in the MAC and ranks 11th in the NCAA in assists/game (18.5) as UB and Oregon are the only two teams in the nation to have a player averaging at least 7.0 APG (Stephanie Reid) and another averaging at least 4.0 APG (Cierra Dillard) this season. Reid leads UB averaging 7.3 helpers which ranks 2nd in the MAC and 7th in the NCAA while Dillard ranks second on the team averaging 5.3 assists/game which ranks 6th in the MAC. . Last time out, Buffalo dished out 19 assists on 24 made field goals in the win over Ohio (assisting on 79% of FG's). So far this season, the Bulls have notched 10 games with at least 20 assists and have recorded at least 15 helpers in 23 of 27 games overall, proving that team work and sharing the ball equate to victories on the court. In a win over UNLV earlier this season, the Bulls were able to set a Division I program record with 28 assists on 29 made field goals (assisting on 97% of FG's).
COUGHING IT UP
The pesky Buffalo defense has been able to force an average of 20.6 turnovers/game so far this season as they have only lost the turnover battle six times through 27 games. UB currently ranks 3rd in the MAC and 23rd in the NCAA forcing 20.6 turnovers/game while also forcing 21.6 turnovers/game at home this season. The Bulls have forced 20+ turnovers in 12 of their last 19 games. Last time out, the Bulls forced 16 Ohio turnovers and turned those into 12 points. UB takes advantage of their opportunities once forcing the turnovers as they have turned 555 total turnovers into 538 points (19.9/game). Over the past two seasons, the Bulls own a 27-6 record when committing less turnovers than their opponents.
CREATING SECOND CHANCE OPPORTUNITIES
Buffalo has improved all season long on the offensive glass and they are proving to be one of the best in the country of late. The Bulls are currently 1st in the MAC and 28th in the NCAA in offensive rebounds/game as they are averaging 15.3/game on the season. Last time out, UB grabbed 18 offensive rebounds in the win over Ohio as Summer Hemphill grabbed eight of her own. In MAC games, UB has turned up the attack on the offensive glass as they are leading the conference, averaging 16.1/game, two offensive rebounds more than 2nd place Eastern Michigan. Buffalo has grabbed at least 10 offensive rebounds in 25 of their 27 games this season and have snagged at least 20 on five occassions. Bulls take advantage of their offensive rebounds as they are averaging 13.9 second chance points per game on the year.
REID MOVING UP MAC ALL-TIME ASSISTS LIST
Senior point guard Stephanie Reid continues to rack up assists at a high clip as she currently ranks 2nd in the conference and 7th in the NCAA averaging 7.3 helpers/game. The Senior recently became the Bulls all-time leader in assists and is the first UB player and 13th player in MAC history to go over the 600 assist plateau, as she currently has 637 career helpers and sits in 10th place on the MAC's all-time charts.
ALL-TIME MAC ASSISTS LEADERS
1. Marti Heckman (Ohio) - 810
2. Michelle Burden (KSU) - 798
3. Naama Shafir (UT) - 722
4. Tracy Wells (WMU) - 699
5. Kacie Cassell (Akron) - 688
6. Kate Achter (BG) - 688
7. Dana Drew (UT) - 659
8. Carmen Grande (BSU) - 649
9. Kelly Savage (UT) - 640
10. Stephanie Reid (UB) - 637
11. Heather Smith (UT) - 634
12. Shala Crook (BSU) - 628
13. Maria Jilian (WMU) - 625
This Buffalo squad is jammed full of experience and it starts with their senior class of five players, Stephanie Reid, Liisa Ups, Katherine Ups, Mariah Suchan and Cassie Oursler. These five seniors have combined to appear in 491 career games while combining to start 315 contests together. This impressive senior class has accumulated 84 victories together and they are now the winningest senior class since the Bulls joined the MAC in 1998-99. This senior class is the first in the Bulls division I history to record three straight 20-win seasons. These seniors have had great success inside Alumni Arena over their great careers as they own a 41-13 (.759) record in front of the home fans. Combined, these five seniors have played in 9,735 career minutes in the blue and white.
KATHERINE UPS NAMED FIRST TEAM ALL-REGION
Senior guard Katherine Ups received some academic recognition for the first time in her UB career on last week as she was named to the CoSIDA First Team Academic All-Region squad. Ups, a biomedical sciences major with a 3.92 GPA, becomes the first UB player since 2000-01 to earn First Team All-Region honors. She is one of just five MAC student-athletes to be honored with the recognition. On the court, Ups is having her best offensive season as she is averaging 7.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists while starting all 27 games for the Bulls as they own a 23-4 overall record on the season.
RUNNING WITH THE BULLS
Buffalo turned into one of the best teams in the country out in transition a season ago and with the athleticism on the roster this year, UB is near the top of the nation in fast break scoring once again. Through 27 games this season, the Bulls seem poised to dominate this category all season long as they own a 296-103 edge in fast break scoring. Last time out, Buffalo was able to dominate in the open court as they outscored Ohio 14-2. The Bulls have now held six opponents without a fast break bucket and 13 opponents to two points or less in the fast break on the season. Buffalo has won the fast break scoring category in 23 of 27 games overall this season and are 21-2 when winning this category. UB has scored in double figures in the fast break category 14 times. Over the past two seasons, UB has won or tied the fast break category in 52 of their 58 games including in 42 of their 45 victories.
SHOOTING FOR THE STARS
One of the keys to success for the Bulls over the past couple of seasons under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack has been shooting a better percentage from the floor than their opponents. Buffalo was able to win this category once again on Saturday as they shot 38.7% while holding Ohio to just 33.3% from the floor in the Bulls 17-point victory. When the Bulls shoot a higher percentage from the floor than their opponent, they own a 51-2 record over the past three seasons and are a perfect 18-0 this season when doing so.
70 AND UNDER
The Bulls have been known for their defense since head coach Felisha Legette-Jack took over the program six seasons ago which has helped UB produce three straight 20+ win seasons. Legette-Jack's goal for the team is to keep their opponent under 60 points as UB is 26-0 when doing so across the past two seasons. Buffalo has held a total of seven opponents under 50 points this season. After leading the MAC a season ago in points allowed/game, the Buffalo defense has once again locked down opposing offenses as they rank 1st in the MAC in field goal percentage defense (37.0%) and 2nd in scoring defense (65.4 PPG). The stingy Buffalo defense has forced an average of 20.6 turnovers/game. Over the last three seasons, UB is 60-8 when holding their opponents to under 70 points and 26-0 when holding opponents to 59 points or less. The Bulls are a perfect 15-0 this season when holding opponents under 70 points scored.
The Bulls have posted 15 victories this season by double digits including a 17-point victory last time out against Ohio. The Bulls earned their most lopsided victory since December 13, 2009 earlier this season as they defeated the Kent State Golden Flashes by 38, 80-42. The Bulls also have won eight games this season by at least 20 points as they are outscoring opponents by an average of 11.6 points/game overall this season. Buffalo has also scored at least 80 points in 11 of their 23 wins this season, more than the last three years combined, and have scored at least 70 points in 12 of their 14 MAC wins. In the Bulls 14 MAC victories, they are outscoring their opponents by an average of 14.3 points/game.
REID 'EM AND WEEP
Senior point guard Stephanie Reid has turned into one of the best floor generals in country over her impressive four-year UB career and is the midst of her best basketball right now. The senior has been great this season as she is averaging 32.0 minutes, 11.4 points, 7.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 2.5 steals on the season while appearing in 23 games. Reid currently ranks 7th in the NCAA in assists/game (7.3) and 18th in assist/turnover margin (2.7). Buffalo owns a 20-3 record this season with their floor general in the starting lineup. Last time out, Reid went for 10 points and seven assists in the win over Ohio. The senior keeps adding to her program record for career assists as she currently sits at 637 helpers, ranking 6th amongst active players for career assists as she became the 13th player in MAC history to record her 600th assist. She has recorded a program record 14 double digit assist efforts in her career and six this season while becoming the first player in UB history and just one of three current players in the NCAA to notch over 1,100 points, 600 assists, 300 rebounds and 200 steals in her career.
OURSLER KEY TO BUFFALO SUCCESS
Fifth-year senior center Cassie Oursler is being leaned on heavily this season and she is proving that she is more than capable of shouldering the load down low for the Bulls. The Grand Island, NY native is having her best offensive season to date for the Bulls as she has scored in double figures in 22 of 27 games this season. Last time out, Oursler had a quiet game as she scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds across 20 minutes of work in the win over Ohio. She has now recorded four double-doubles in her last six games for the Bulls, the best stretch of her UB career. Over her last seven games, she is averaging a team-best 16.3 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks while shooting 59.5% from the floor and 100% from the free throw line. On the year, she is averaging a career-best 13.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and a team-best 2.0 blocks while shooting 49.7% from the floor and 82.1% from the charity stripe. The senior currently sits in 6th place on the Bulls all-time field goal percentage charts as she is shooting 48.7% from the floor over her career. Oursler also moved into 5th place on the Bulls all-time blocks list as she has notched 135 career rejections as a Bull as she has notched at least one block in 19 straight games. She has also posted a career-best eight double-doubles and a career-best four 20+ scoring efforts so far this season.
Junior guard Cierra Dillard has turned into a fan favorite as her flashy passes and her pure talent have been on display all season long. The Rochester native is averaging 31.1 minutes, a team-high 14.7 points, 5.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 steals while making a team-best 58 three-pointers on the year. Last time out against Ohio, Dillard was able to produce 10 points, six assists, two rebounds and two steals in 36 minutes. Dillard's game doesn't stop at her scoring as she is one of the best facilitators in the conference, averaging 5.3 dimes/game while also ranking 31st in the NCAA in steals/game (2.7). She uses her superior basketball IQ to get into the opposing teams passing lanes and uses her quick hands to force tons of turnovers for the Bulls. On the year, Dillard has recorded at least one steal in 25 of 27 games this season while notching three games with 6+ steals. Her defense has helped the Bulls get out in transition and score, leading to their 23-4 start to the season. Dillard has led UB in scoring a team-best 13 times while also going over the 20-point plateau a team-high seven times this season. When Dillard scores 20+ points, UB is 7-0 this season. She has been named MAC East Player of the Week three times this year, most of any player. Dillard has also been named UB Athlete of the Week six times this season.
HEMPHILL'S CONFIDENCE AT ALL-TIME HIGH
The Bulls have been waiting for sophomore Summer Hemphill to break out and prove she is a dominant post presence and she might be in the midst of that right now. The Buffalo native is becoming a reliable source of scoring and rebounding for the Bulls of late as she has scored in double figures in nine straight games. Hemphill posted her fifth double-double of the season last time out as she had a monster 10 point, 23 rebound, four block game against Ohio. The athletically gifted post player is averaging a career-high 26.1 minutes, 10.8 points, a team-best 7.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.7 blocks while shooting a team-best 59.3% from the floor on the year. Hemphill ranks 2nd in the MAC and 20th in the NCAA in field goal percentage on the year. In MAC games, Hemphill has been a beast as she is averaging 12.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 1.8 steals while shooting 59.3% from the floor as UB is off to a program-best 14-2 start in conference games.
JONES PROVIDES SPARK OFF BENCH
Junior shooting guard Autumn Jones came off the bench in the second half against Ohio on Saturday and put up a team-high 14 points as she went 4-for-9 from behind the arc. Jones' impact off the bench helped lift UB to the 70-53 victory. On the year, Jones is leading the UB bench as she is averaging 6.3 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 steals across an average of 16.1 minutes/game off the pine. The UB bench is becoming more involved as of late, as they are averaging 26.7 points/game over the last three games. When the UB bench outscores their opponents bench this season, the Bulls are 15-2.