Women’s Hoops Heads To The Sunshine State To Take On Nebraska And Clemson
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women’s basketball team (2-0, 0-0 MAC) will head down to Daytona Beach, FL this week for a pair of games in the San Juan Shootout. The Bulls will open the tournament on Thanksgiving day with a matchup against Big Ten member Nebraska (3-1) before closing out the tournament against ACC member Clemson (3-1) on Friday afternoon at the Ocean Center.
Thursday and Friday’s games can also be listened to on ESPN1520 as Matt Mattia has you covered with the pre-game shows down in Daytona Beach. Thursday’s pre-game show will start at 3:45 pm with the tip scheduled for 4:15 pm and Friday’s pre-game show will begin at 6:00 pm with the game scheduled to tip at 6:30 pm.
SAN JUAN SHOOTOUT INFO
BULLS HEAD TO DAYTONA BEACH FOR SAN JUAN SHOOTOUT
After a dominant win last time out, the UB women’s basketball team will be hitting the road for their first pair of games away from Alumni Arena. Buffalo will take on Big Ten opponent Nebraska on Thanksgiving at 4:15 pm at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, FL before closing up action against ACC foe Clemson on Friday at 6:30 pm. The Bulls will be aiming for their third consecutive 4-0 start to the season at the San Juan Shootout.
BUFFALO SHUTS THE DOOR ON MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE
Buffalo was able to improve to 2-0 for the third straight season on Monday night inside Alumni Arena as they completely dominated the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks, handing them the 76-41 defeat. The Buffalo defense picked up their game on Monday as they were able to force 31 Maryland Eastern Shore turnovers and turned those into 36 points on the offensive end of the court. Sophomore Summer Hemphill led the way off the bench for the Bulls as she netted a team-best 12 points and four blocks while Theresa Onwuka didn’t miss a shot, going 2-for-2 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the charity stripe in route to an 11 point and three rebound game in the victory for the Bulls.
The Bulls have been dominant over the past four seasons against non-conference foes as they own a 34-12 overall record in non-conference tilts. Buffalo is 2-0 this season against non-conference foes after posting a 10-1 record a season ago. The Bulls started out last season with a program record 10-0 start in non-conference games. Over their last 13 non-conference games, Buffalo has outscored their opponents by 13.9 points/game as they have averaged 70.0 points while shooting 41.3% from the floor. The UB defense also held eight opponents to under 60 points in non-conference play over their last 13 games.
After posting a 76-41 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore on Monday night, the Bulls improved to 2-0 for the third straight season and just the 15th time in program history. This 2-0 start for the Bulls has been their most impressive so far as they have outscored their opponents by average of 24.5 pts/game, the highest average of any of the 2-0 starts. Buffalo has also started each of the last two seasons with at least a 6-0 record.
TURNOVERS TO POINTS
The pesky Buffalo defense has been able to force a total of 54 turnovers through two games this season and they have earned the win in both. The Bulls have taken advantage of their opportunities as they have turned those turnovers into 65 points (32.5/game). Last time out, UB forced a season-high 31 turnovers by Maryland Eastern Shore and turned those into a season-best 36 points on the offensive end of the court. Over the past two seasons, the Bulls own a 13-4 record when committing less turnovers than their opponents, including a 2-0 mark this 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 sure to be near the top of the nation in fast break scoring once again. Through their first two games of the season, the Bulls seem poised to dominate this category all season long as they own a 30-2 edge in fast break scoring in their two wins. Last time out, UB earned the 13-2 edge in fast break scoring as they ran away with a 35-point victory over Maryland Eastern Shore. Buffalo has been able to win or tie the fast break scoring category in 30 of their last 34 games over the past two seasons inclduing in 23 of their last 24 wins. Buffalo owned the 270-111 edge in fast break scoring last year.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
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 back-to-back 20+ win seasons. After leading the MAC a season ago in points allowed/game, the Bulls got back on track against Maryland Eastern Shore on Monday as they collected the 76-41 victory. Buffalo was able to hold the the Hawks to just 22.2% shooting for the game as UB now leads the MAC in field goal percentage defense as they are holding opponents to just 29.3% from the floor overall and just 20.0% from behind the arc. UB is 46-8 over the past three seasons when holding their opponents to under 70 points and 20-0 when holding their opponents to 50 points or less. A season ago, UB was 17-0 when holding their opponents to 59 points or less.
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. The Bulls were able to outshoot the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks 48.3% to 22.2% on Monday in the Bulls 35-point victory. With the win, UB improves to 36-2 over the past three seasons when they shoot a higher percentage from the floor than their opponent.
REID ‘EM AND WEEP
Senior point guard Stephanie Reid has turned into the best floor general in the MAC over her impressive four-year UB career. After setting the program record for assists in a season opener (11) against Delaware, Reid had a quiet night as the Bulls cruised to a 76-41 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore. Reid finished her game with just one point, two rebounds, five assists and four steals in just 21 minutes of work. The floor general was able to stabalize the Buffalo defense as they forced a season-high 31 turnovers in the win. The senior heads into her final campaign looking to leave her mark throughout the UB record books as she has already set the program record for assists in a season with 233 a season ago. Last season, Reid posted career-highs in points (11.5), assists (7.3), rebounds (3.1) and steals (2.0) while also tying the program record for assists in a single game with 16 against Ball State. She finished the season ranked tied for 5th in the NCAA in assists/game (7.3) and 8th in assist/turnover margin (2.9) while also notching seven games with 10+ assists, a new career-high. Reid closed out her junior campaign scoring in double figures 22 times while breaking the 20-point plateau a career-best four times. Defensively, Reid earned All-MAC Defensive Team honors for the second straight season as she averaged a career-best 2.0 steals/game while recording at least one theft in 26 of 32 games and two or more steals in 17 games. She enters the season ranked 2nd in program history for career assists (486) and 7th in free throw percentage (75.9%).
The Buffalo bench saw a lot of action on Monday in the 35-point win over Maryland Eastern Shore and the sophomore duo of Summer Hemphill and Theresa Onwukaproduced when they got their chance. Hemphill finished off her night leading all players with 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting while notching four blocked shots and two rebounds in 11 minutes. Onwuka was also perfect from the floor as she went 3-for-3 from the floor and 5-for-5 from the charity stripe as she notched 11 points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal across 10 minutes. Both players saw major minutes during their freshman campaigns as Hemphill averaged 21.3 minutes, 6.0 points, a team-best 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while Onwuka logged 17.2 minutes, 5.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals. Hemphill tied for the team lead as she notched four double-doubles and earned All-MAC Freshman team honors while Onwuka netted three double-doubles of her own.
The much anticipated Buffalo debut for UMass transfer Cierra Dillard went just about as well as any fan could have hoped as she led the Bulls with 17 points in her debut. The Rochester native backed up her first career game for the Bulls with a strong game in limited time in the Bulls dominant win over Maryland Eastern Shore as she finished with five points, six assists and three steals in 20 minutes of action. Dillard has now notched six assists and at least three steals in both games this season while also connecting on at least one triple in both games. Dillard has now recorded 805 career points and will aim to surpass 1,000 career points during her junior campaign.
Fifth-year senior center Cassie Oursler will be leaned on heavily in the post this season and the 6-3 local product is more than ready to tackle that challenge. Oursler has opened up her final season for the Bulls with back-to-back double digit scoring efforts as she finished off the win over Maryland Eastern Shore with 10 points and two rebounds on 5-for-9 from the floor in just 17 minutes of work. The Grand Island, NY native is coming off of a strong junior campaign that saw her average a career-best 9.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while playing just 19.5 minutes/game. Last season, Oursler had 13 games with at least two blocks while notching at least one rejection in 24 games including each of her final nine games. With an improved fitness level this season and a new offensive game plan, the senior will be looking to exploit her opponents not only down low but in the open court.
BENCH KEEPS PRODUCING
The Buffalo bench has been a strength of the team over the past couple of seasons and they continued their high level of play on Monday in the win over Maryland Eastern Shore. The Buffalo bench was able to hold a 49-16 edge in scoring as two players, Hemphill and Onwuka, scored in double figures while eight of nine bench players recorded at least one point in the win. The UB bench is averaging 39.5 points/game as they have won the scoring battle in bot victories so far this season.
EXPERIENCED SQUAD RETURNS FOR UB
Heading into the 2017-18 campaign, the Bulls will be returning one of the most experienced rosters in the MAC as they have a total of five seniors and 10 upperclassmen who have notched a lot of playing minutes in their careers. The Bulls rank second in the MAC in career minutes returning as UB returns 12,413 minutes of experience. Senior point guard Stephanie Reid is the most experienced returner for the Bulls as she has notched 2,720 career minutes running the UB offense.
1. Miami – 13,782 7. NIU – 9,661
2. BUFFALO – 12,413 8. BGSU – 8,073
3. CMU – 11,567 9. Ball St. – 6,852
4. WMU – 10,848 10. EMU – 6,452
5. Kent St. – 10,795 11. Akron – 4,964
6. Toledo – 10,590 12. Ohio – 3,877
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. This senior class has accumulated 63 victories together and with six more wins this season, they will become the winningest senior class since the Bulls joined the MAC in 1998-99.
UB PICKED ATOP MAC EAST FOR SECOND TIME
For just the second time in program history, the UB women’s basketball team was tabbed by MAC coaches to win the MAC East regular season title. The Bulls receieved a program record 10 first place votes, finishing way ahead of second place Kent State in the polls. Buffalo was also able to garner one vote to win the regular season MAC championship and one vote to win the MAC Tournament championship.
REID EARNS SPOT ON ALL-MAC EAST SQUAD
After a career year during her junior campaign, point guard Stephanie Reid was able to garner some preseason praise as she was named to the All-MAC east team for the second straight season. Reid joined Carly Santoro of Bowling Green, Jordan Korinek of Kent State, Lauren Dickerson of Miami and Taylor Agler of Ohio on the squad.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
Buffalo will welcome three newcomers to the squad this season after graduating just one senior from last seasons 22-win team. Junior Autumn Jones transfers to Buffalo after spending the past two seasons at Pensecola State Junior College where she averaged 9.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals during her sophomore campaign. UB will also welcome a pair of freshman in point guard Hanna Hall and forward Marissa Hamilton. Hall comes to Buffalo from nearby Hamilton, Ontario where she played at Lincoln Prep. Hall spent the summer of 2017 playing for the U19 Canadian National team, guiding them to their first-ever Bronze medal at the 2017 FIBA U19 World Cup in Italy. Hamilton joins the Bulls after a successful high school career at Ellicottville high school where she averaged 21.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals during her senior season.
JO NO MO
The Bulls will be looking to replace their leading scorer and one of the best shooting guards in program history this season as JoAnna Smith graduated in the spring. Smith averaged a team-best 17.2 points last season while finishing her career ranked sixth in program history with 1,395 career points. The lethal outside scorer also became the second UB player under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack to earn a professional contract following her career as she signed to play professionally in Portugal this season.
BACK-TO-BACK 20 WIN SEASONS
Since head coach Felisha Legette-Jack took over the reins of the program prior to the 2012-13 campaign, the Bulls have turned into one of the premier teams in the Mid-American Conference. UB is 92-70 under Legette-Jack’s watchful eye as they have accumulated at least 17 victories in each of the past four seasons and 19+ wins in three straight campaigns. Posting 22 wins a season ago, the Bulls have now notched back-to-back 20+ win seasons for just the second time in program history and the first since joining the MAC.
A SEASON TO REMEMBER
The 2016-17 season for the UB women’s basketball team is one of the most impressive seasons in program history as they posted a 22-10 record, second most wins in the Bulls division I history and most since joining the MAC in 1998-99. Buffalo started the season in impressive fashion as they set the program record for best start to a season going 10-0 before suffering their first loss in the final non-conference game of the season. The 10-1 non-conference mark is also a program record. After gathering a 10-8 conference mark, the Bulls were able to advance to their second straight MAC semifinal game for the first time in program history but fell short, losing to eventual MAC champions, Toledo. Despite the 22 wins and beating multiple teams in the NIT field, Buffalo was denied of a postseason NIT berth.