Bulls Clash With Connecticut On Sunday With Trip To Sweet 16 On The Line

Team huddle

#10 Buffalo (24-9, 12-6 MAC) vs. #2 Connecticut (32-2, 16-0 AAC)

March 24, 2019

Gampel Pavilion – 7:00 p.m.

Bulls on the Air

Radio – 107.3 FM/AM1400/TuneIn App

Television: ESPN

STORRS, CT – After advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season on Friday afternoon, the University at Buffalo women's basketball team will aim for a second straight Sweet 16 bid as they clash with #2 Connecticut on Sunday night at 7:30 pm inside Gampel Pavilion. Sunday's game will air live on ESPN with Adam Amin (pbp) and Kara Lawason (color) on the call as well as 107.3 FM/AM1400 with Matt Mattia and Amy Audibert announcing.


TODAY'S STORYLINES

• The Bulls became the first MAC women's team to win an NCAA Tournament game in back-to-back years since Toledo did it in 1991 and 1992.

Summer Hemphill led the Bulls with 23 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two assists on Friday. Cierra Dillard added 20 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals and Hanna Hall and Autumn Jones chipped in 12 points each.

• Buffalo is making their third trip in four seasons to the NCAA Tournament and are coming off the program's first Sweet 16 appearance in 2018.

• Buffalo is one of 23 schools to have both their men's and women's team in the NCAA Tournament and one of only three schools to have earned an automatic bid on both sides.

• This marks the third ever meeting between the two programs and the first since Nov. 26, 2011 when the Huskies defeated the Bulls 90-34 at Gampel Pavilion. Buffalo is 5-10 all-time against AAC schools.

• The Bulls have dominated the paint this season as UB has won or tied the scoring in the paint category in 28 of 33 games this season and are 19-3 when winning the battle inside.

• The Bulls won their 20th game of the season on March 6, marking just the second time in program history that UB has won 20+ games in four straight seasons.

• Dillard has scored 20+ points in 29 of the last 33 games and is averaging 25.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 5.7 apg and 2.8 stls/gm. The senior is currently second in the nation in scoring.


#10 BULLS LOOK FOR ANOTHER UPSET VS. #2 UCONN

• After winning an NCAA Tournament game for the second straight season, the UB women's basketball team will return to Gampel Pavilion on Sunday night looking for their second straight upset as they take on the host #3 Connecticut Huskies.

• The Bulls and Huskies will tip off at 7 pm with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.

• Buffalo currently owns a 24-9 overall record while UConn is 32-2.

• Sunday's game will air nationally on ESPN or it can be listened to on 107.3 FM/AM1400 with Matt Mattia and Amy Audibert on the call.


BULLS UPSET #7 RUTGERS
• The University at Buffalo women's basketball team defeated Rutgers 82-71 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Gampel Pavilion on Friday. 

• The Bulls are the first MAC women's team to win an NCAA Tournament game in back-to-back years since Toledo did it in 1991 and 1992.

Summer Hemphill led the way for Buffalo with a game-high 23 points, while adding seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal. Cierra Dillard also cracked the 20-point plateau, pouring in 20 points while adding six assists, four rebounds and four steals. Also in double-figures were Hanna Hall and Autumn Jones with 12 points each.

• It marked the fourth straight game Buffalo had four players in double figures.

• Buffalo shot 27-of-54 (50.0%) from the floor, 12-of-23 from beyond the arc, and converted 16-of-19 attempts from the free throw line, while holding Rutgers to just 4-of-21 from deep. The Bulls also won the rebounding battle 39-33.


BULLS WIN MAC CHAMPIONSHIP

• With an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line the University at Buffalo women's basketball team beat Ohio, 77-61, to win the Mid-American Conference Championship on Saturday at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena.

• The Bulls made a season-high 13 three-pointers to win their second MAC tournament title in school history.

Cierra Dillard, who was named MAC Tournament MVP, finished with a team-high 22 points, including four three-pointers. Hanna Hall had 17 points, including a career-best five triples. Courtney Wilkins also shot it well from deep, finishing with 12 points on four three-pointers.

• As well as the Bulls shot it from the perimeter, it was the inside play of Summer Hemphill that proved to be the difference. The junior forward scored 16 points and pulled down a MAC Tournament-record 21 rebounds. Buffalo was relentless on the glass, outrebounding Ohio, 46-29. UB grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and scored 24 second-chance points.

• Along with Dillard being named Tournament MVP, Hall and Hemphill were also named to the MAC All-Tournament team.


LET'S DANCE

• For the third time in program history the Bulls are competing in the NCAA Tournament.

• This marks the second time the Bulls have gotten in as an automatic bid after getting the program's first at-large bid last season.

• Buffalo earned the No. 11 seed in 2018 and stunned No. 6 seed South Florida 102-79 in the first round. The 102 points scored by the Bulls were the most points ever scored by a double digit seed in the history of the NCAA Tournament. UB then defeated No. 3 Florida State 86-64 on their home floor before falling to South Carolina 79-63 in the program's first Sweet 16 appearance.

• UB was the No. 14 seed in 2016 and faced off with No. 3 Ohio State in Columbus, falling to the Buckeyes 88-69 in the first round.


NCAA EXPERIENCE

• The Bulls currently have nine players on their roster that played in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, while seniors Courtney Wilkins, Brittany Morrison and Ayoleka Sodade will be making their third appearance in the big dance after qualifying for the postseason tournament in their freshman and junior campaigns.

• Dillard earned All-Albany Regional honors in 2018 after averaging 29.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.3 steals while shooting 49.1% from the floor across three NCAA Tournament games. She scored 36 points, including seven three-pointers in the Bulls first-round win over USF and had a huge game in the Bulls Sweet 16 game loss to South Carolina as she netted 29 points, six steals, six assists and three rebounds while connecting on four three pointers.

• Wilkins had a career game in the Bulls NCAA Tournament first round win over South Florida as she netted 23 points, including five three-pointers, both career highs.


MACTION

• Over the last two decades the Mid-American Conference has been looked at as a one bid league but over the last two years the league has been able to buck that trend with Central Michigan earning an at-large bid this year after the 2017-18 Bulls earned the league's first at-large bid since the 1996 season when Kent State and Toledo earned the nods and both won first round games.


DILLARD, HEMPHILL, HALL MAKE ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

• After putting forth a stellar effort throughout the MAC Tournament Cierra Dillard was named Tournament MVP. Joining Dillard on the All-Tournament team were Hanna Hall and Summer Hemphill.  

• Dillard closed out her MVP performance averaging 24.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game, while converting 19-of-20 attempts from the charity stripe.

• Hemphill earned the nod after averaging 17.7 points and 13.0 rebounds per game, including setting a new MAC Tournament record with 21 rebounds against Ohio in the championship game.

• Hall averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game and tied a career-high with five three pointers in the win over Ohio in the MAC championship.

• Prior to the MAC Tournament Dillard was named First Team All-MAC while Hemphill was named to the All-MAC Second Team.


ANOTHER 20+ WIN SEASON

• The wins continue to pile up for the Bulls under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack as they produced their fourth straight 20+ win campaign.

• This marks the second time in school history the Bulls have won 20+ games in four straight seasons since accomplishing that feat from 1993-97.

• Buffalo has posted 15 victories this season by double-digits, including two of their last three games. They have also posted six victories by 20+ points including a season-high 47 point victory, 90-43, over St. Bonaventure on December 23, 2018.

• UB also dominated MAC opponents this season, as they have defeated conference opponents by an average of 17.1 points.

• The Bulls won a program-best 29 games last season for the Bulls last season are the third most in MAC history behind Bowling Green in 2007 (31) and in 2014 (30).


CHARITY WORK

• The Bulls led the MAC and rank second in the nation in free throws made (546) and are ranked 11th nationally in free throw percentage (.774) and ninth nationally in free throws attempted (705).

Cierra Dillard leads the nation in both free throws made and attempts as she is currently 225-of-278 from the line this season. Those numbers are also a UB single-season record.


TURNING THEM OVER

• The Buffalo defense is forcing an average of 18.5 turnovers/game across 33 contests.

• As a team, Buffalo was second the MAC and currently ranks 51st in the NCAA in turnovers forced this season.

• The Bulls are also averaging 9.7 steals/game so far this season while netting an average of 19.6 points/game off of opponent's turnovers.

• Against cross-town rival Canisius, the Bulls were able to force a season-high 32 Golden Griffen turnovers while only turning over the ball 13 times. Buffalo was able to turn those turnovers into 32 points on the way to an 84-66 victory.


RUNNING WITH THE BULLS
• The Bulls are excelling in the open court this season, outscoring opponents 445-253 in the fastbreak category.

• Buffalo has held opponents to no fast break points four times this season, while recording at least two fast break points in 32 of 33 contests.

• Over the past two plus seasons, the Bulls have won or tied the fast break category in 83 of their 99 games, including 67 of their 74 wins.


PAINTING A NEW PICTURE

• The Bulls have dominated the paint this season as UB has won or tied the scoring in the paint category in 28 of 33 games this season.

• UB set a season-high with 56 points in the paint at Ball State, scoring 32 of their 40 field goals inside the painted area.

• The Bulls are 19-3 this season when winning the battle inside as they are averaging 33.0 points/game in the paint while holding their opponents to an average of 24.9 points/game down low.


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 third in the MAC and 62nd in the NCAA in rebounds/game as they are averaging 40.2/game.

• The Bulls are also limiting their opponents to just 35.9 rebounds/game. Buffalo is 19-4 this season when winning the rebounding battle and just 5-5 when they are outrebounded by their opponents. UB has won the rebounding battle in 23 of 33 games this season, including 14 of 18 MAC games.


CREATING SECOND CHANCE OPPORTUNITIES

• Buffalo has excelled all season long on the offensive glass as the Bulls led the MAC in offensive rebounding, averaging 14.5/game on the season.

• UB grabbed a season-high 26 offensive rebounds against Bowling Green, turning those into 21 second chance points.

• In MAC games, UB turned up the attack on the offensive glass as they led the conference, averaging 14.9/game, 2.5 offensive rebounds more than 2nd place Kent State.

• Buffalo has grabbed at least 10 offensive rebounds in 29 of their 33 games this season and have snagged at least 20 on four occasions. The Bulls take advantage of their offensive rebounds as they are averaging 13.1 second chance points per game on the year.


HOME SWEET HOME
• Since Legette-Jack took over before the 2012-13 season, the Bulls hold a 66-29 (.695) record at home across 95 contests.

• Over the last two seasons, UB is 21-3 at Alumni Arena. Last year, Buffalo finished a perfect 12-0 at home overall and 9-0 in conference play.

• On the flip side, Legette-Jack's Bulls are 77-56 (.579) on the road or on neutral ground during her tenure.


YOUNG BULLS

• Buffalo is tied with Ball State for the youngest roster in the MAC with six true freshmen.

• Buffalo's six freshmen rank as the fifth most freshmen on a NCAA Division I women's basketball roster in the country. Only 18 teams have more the Buffalo's six. 


DILLY DILLY

• Senior Cierra Dillard has accumulated 2,176 career points across her stops with UMass and the Bulls.

• The senior set the single-season scoring record, currently with 827 points, surpassing the previous mark of 708 set by Kourtney Brown in the 2010-11 season.

• Dillard set a program record with 43 points against Eastern Michigan on January 9, 2019, besting the previous mark of 39 set by Brittany Hedderson in 2011.

• Dillard became the fastest player in UB history to get to 1,000 career points, doing so in just 53 games. She is Buffalo's 25th 1,000 point scorer and one of only four to reach that milestone in less than 100 games.

• The senior scored her 2,000th career point at the free throw line in the fourth quarter of a 30-point win at Ohio on February 27.

• Dillard now has 1,393 points in a UB uniform, moving her into seventh place on the all-time scoring list.

• The Rochester, NY native scored 20+ points in 29 of 33 contests this season, including a stretch of 11 straight 20+ point efforts, and seven 30+ point performances (Oregon, Georgetown, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Ohio and Miami (OH) and Central Michigan). Dillard is currently second in the nation in scoring, averaging 25.1 points per game for the Bulls through the first 33 games of the season.

• The senior captain has led the Bulls in scoring in 29 of 33 games this season and is averaging 25.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 2.8 steals while connecting on 38.6% of her shots and an impressive 80.9% of her free throw attempts on the year.

• Across her career, Dillard has produced at least one steal in 66 of 68 games and recorded multiple steals in 52 games. She matched a career-high with seven thefts in a win over Central Michigan on February 16, 2019.

• The crafty passer has recorded at least one assist in each of her 68 career games while recording 5+ helpers 19 times this season. She has also led the team in assists 38 times during her UB career.

• Dillard has led the Bulls in scoring 48 times since joining the program while going over the 20-point plateau a team-high 40 times. The Bulls own a 31-9 record when Dillard scores 20+ points.


SUMMER TIME IN BUFFALO

• Junior forward Summer Hemphill made her first return to the court since last March on Dec. 18th against Dartmouth.

• Hemphill is currently averaging 14.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game on the season.

• The Buffalo, NY native has recorded 13 double-doubles on the year.

• In her 2018-19 season debut, the versatile scorer poured in a career-high 24 points, while adding 14 rebounds.

• Hemphill tied her career-high with 24 points, including a career-high 12 field goals, in a win over Central Michigan in the MAC Tournament semifinals.

• The junior set the MAC Tournament record with 21 rebounds in a win over Ohio in the championship game.


TAKING OVER THE REINS AT POINT GUARD

• With the departure of the Bulls all-time leader in assists, Stephanie Reid, UB needed to find a replacement at the point guard spot and it appears as though they have found their floor general in sophomore Hanna Hall.

• Hall returns for her second year with the Bulls and looks poised to take over the starting duties after earning the start in 26 of the Bulls 33 games this season.

• The Hamilton, ON native is currently averaging 25.7 minutes, 6.6 points, 3.1 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.

• The sophomore point had the best game of her career at Eastern Michigan (1/9/19) as she went 6-of-9 from the floor and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc on the night, finishing with a career-high 20 points. She also added three rebounds, three steals and an assist to her impressive stat line.

• Hall came up big in the MAC Tournament averaging 14.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists over three games in Cleveland.


HONORS KEEP ROLLING IN FOR DILLARD

• Senior guard Cierra Dillard was named MAC East Player of the Week on March 5th after leading the Bulls to big wins at Ohio and against Miami (OH). It is the sixth weekly honor for Dillard this season, a program record.

• Dillard was named one of four finalists for the Dawn Staley Award, given to the nation's best guard, and was one of 10 candidates for the 2019 Ann Meyers Drysdale Award, recognizing the top shooting guard in women's NCAA Division 1 college basketball.

• The Rochester, NY native was named espnW's National Player of the Week on January 14th after averaging 34.5 points per game, while adding 5.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 4.0 steals per contes in wins at Eastern Michigan and Miami (OH).

• Additionally, Dillard was named to the Citizen Naismith Trophy Watch List and is the only mid-major player to earn a spot on the prestigious list. She is also the lone UB women's basketball player to earn a spot on the list in school history.


80 PLUS

• The Bulls have always been known for their defense but last season the UB offense began to take over some of the recognition that led the Bulls to a historic season.

• The Bulls are tough to beat when they scored 80+ points as they own a 29-4 record dating back to last season when doing so.

• The Bulls have posted 80+ performances on 14 occasions this season, coming away with victories in 12 of those games.

• Buffalo is currently averaging 76.1 points/game which ranks 26th in the nation.

• Against #3 Oregon, the Buffalo offense posted their second straight 80+ point effort in the loss. The Bulls posted 82 points against the Ducks, the most scored against the nationally ranked opponent this season.


60 OR LESS
• Over the last three seasons, UB is 60-3 when holding their opponents to under 70 points and 39-0 when holding opponents to 59 points or less.

• The stingy Buffalo defense held a total of 20 opponents under 70 points this season, winning 18 of those contests.

• Buffalo held a total of eight opponents under 50 points last season and they were 8-0 in those games.