BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team picked up where they left off last season in their exhibition opener on Thursday night in front of the home fans inside Alumni Arena as they cruised to a 94-53 exhibition game victory over the Bloomsburg Huskies. Senior Cierra Dillard shined for the Bulls in the win as she netted a game-high 27 points on 11-for-14 from the floor and 5-for-6 from behind the arc.
The Buffalo bench had a huge game in the opener for the Bulls as they accounted for 56 points. Senior forward Brittany Morrison led the way off the bench with 14 points and four rebounds on 6-for-8 from the floor while Oceane Kounkou netted 12 points in eight minutes of work.
The Bulls got out to a quick start in the opening quarter as Dillard scored the first seven points of the game for UB before Adebola Adeyeye finished off a layup in traffic to give the home team the 9-3 lead in the opening three minutes. The Buffalo defense was able to hold the Huskies without a bucket over the final five minutes of the first quarter as Autumn Jones netted a pair of jumpers and Aireal Dickson finished off a pull up jumper in the paint to give the Bulls the 19-6 lead through 10 minutes.
After the Huskies cut the UB lead to 11, 19-8, early on in the second quarter, the Bulls were able to go on an 11-2 run that was sparked by five points from Dillard and buckets by Finess Dickson, Zena Elias and Adeyeye to extend the Bulls lead to 30-10. Another Dillard triple and a free throw from Alexis Adams gave the Bulls the 36-15 lead with just over two minutes left in the half. The Huskies were able to cut the UB lead down to 14 at half after a 7-0 run closed out the first half for the visitors.
The beginning of the third quarter belonged to Dillard as the team captain took over the game, netting 12 points through the first six minutes of the quarter to extend the Buffalo lead to 57-35. Finess Dickson gave UB their biggest lead of the quarter, 60-35, after she pickpocketed the Huskies point guard and went the distance for a fast break layup. Morrison closed the scoring in the quarter for the Bulls with an offensive rebound and layup at the buzzer to send the game to the fourth with the Bulls owning the 62-39 lead.
The Bulls put together their best quarter of the game in the fourth as they outscored the Huskies 32-14 across the final 10 minutes. Oceane Kounkou led the Buffalo bench attack in the final quarter as she netted all 12 of her points while Theresa Onwuka and Morrison chipped in with six points each in the final frame. Kounkou drilled three triples in the final quarter and Onwuka finished off the scoring with a layup and free throw as the Bulls went on to win 94-53.
Dillard put on a show for the home fans in the exhibition opener as she finished off her night netting a game-high 27 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals while going 11-for-14 from the floor and 5-for-6 from deep in only 21 minutes of work. Morrison had a great game for the Bulls off the bench as she netted 14 points and four rebounds in 16 minutes while freshman Oceane Kounkou closed out her night with 12 points on 3-for-4 from deep in eight minutes.
Making her first appearance in a Buffalo uniform, Finess Dickson gave UB a spark off the bench as she netted six points, five steals, three rebounds and two assists in 14 minutes while junior Theresa Onwuka scored eight points, seven rebounds and two steals and Keowa Walters collected a team-high nine rebounds in the win.
As a team, Buffalo shot 46.3% from the floor including 57.9% in the second half while forcing 24 Bloomsburg turnovers. The Bulls collected 20 steals and turned those turnovers into 27 points in the victory. UB also outscored the Huskies 52-20 in the paint and 22-4 in fast break scoring.
The Bulls will open up their 2018-19 regular season on Sunday, November 11 as they travel to Maryland Eastern Shore for a showdown with the Eagles. Tip is set for 5:00 pm.