BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team led wire-to-wire as they cruised to an 86-61 victory over Miami (OH) in front of a packed house on Senior Day at Alumni Arena on Saturday afternoon. With the win the Bulls improve to 19-8 on the year, 11-5 in league play.
Senior Cierra Dillard had a game-high 31 points to go along with eight assists, six rebounds and three steals. Summer Hemphill recorded her 11th double-double of the season, recording 15 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and three blocks and Teresa Onwuka also got into double figures with 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
All five seniors recorded a point on Senior Day as Autumn Jones had five points and Ayoleka Sodade and Brittany Morrison chipped in a bucket each. The crowd of 3,509 was the largest women's basketball crowd of the year and the second largest in program history.
"What a powerful day, I am so proud of these young ladies," head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. "Courtney, Leka and Brittany bought into what we teach. They had a chance to walk away but to stay and compete, I'm eternally grateful. And then to add AJ and Cierra to solidify our senior class, I just want to keep winning more games so the world can see how far we have come. We are a better team because these seniors came through Buffalo."
The Bulls got things going early and often, opening the game on a 9-1 run to force a Miami timeout at the 6:42 mark. UB would then use a 4-0 run out of media to make it 14-1. The RedHawks got their first field goal of the game at the 4:34 mark but UB would maintain control and take 24-9 lead after one. The Bulls held Miami to just 4-of-18 shooting in the opening quarter.
Buffalo kept attacking to start the second quarter as Hemphill converted the fast break layup to put UB up 31-15 but Miami responded with a 7-2 run to cut the lead to 33-22 at the media timeout and would use a 7-4 run to cut the deficit to 41-31 at the break. The Bulls shot 53% from the floor in the opening half, while holding Miami to just 35.3%, including just 3-of-11 from beyond the arc.
The Bulls respond out of the locker room, opening the third quarter on a 9-2 run, including three baskets in transition to take a 50-33 lead at the 7:34 mark and force a Miami timeout. But there would be no slowing the Bulls as they broke off an 18-1 run, going 7-of-7 from the floor during that stretch, to take a 64-34 lead at the media timeout and would maintain a 72-42 lead after three quarters of play. The Bulls shot a blistering 11-of-15 (73.3%) from the field, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc in the third.
Courtney Wilkins drilled a triple on the Bulls opening possession of the fourth quarter to give UB its largest lead of the game, 75-42. Miami used a mini 6-0 run to cut the lead to 75-48 at the 7:55 mark but there would be no letup as the Bulls cruised to the 25-point victory.
Buffalo shot 55% from the floor, including 7-of-16 from beyond the arc, and converted 13-of-15 attempts from the charity stripe on the game. The Bulls also won the battle of the boards by a margin of 40-34, while scoring 31 fast break points.
Up next, the Bulls host Bowling Green in the final regular season home on Wednesday, March 6, at 7 p.m.