‘Mighty Mouse’ Stephanie Reid dazzles in UB rout
CLEVELAND – Stephanie Reid had too much class and composure to make any complaint Wednesday about the fact she was left off the Mid-American Conference’s first-team all-star squad.
Reid made her statement on the court in UB’s rout of Kent State in the MAC quarterfinals. The senior point guard from Australia scored 22 points, handed out 11 assists and made five steals in the Bulls’ 72-50 victory.
Was she bothered by the fact she was a second-team choice, even though she’s eighth in MAC history in assists and she’s the undisputed leader of the MAC’s No. 2-ranked team?
“I’m very honored to be part of it,” Reid said. “There’s great players on the first team and great players on the second and third.”
UB coach Felisha Legette-Jack couldn’t manage the same restraint.
“They are more diplomatic than I am,” said Legette-Jack said. “I’m thinking, dang it, what does a young lady gotta do to make a first team around here? And I said, you know what, from the first play, you’re in attack mode. We’re going to call the first three plays to you. The second half, we’re going to call the first three plays to you and you’re going to finish.”
It was yet another in a long line of virtuoso performances for the 5-foot-6 Reid, affectionately called “Mighty Mouse” by her teammates. Reid made the greatest play in UB history two years ago, the last-second bank shot that sent the Bulls to the NCAA Tournament.
Kent State coach Todd Starkey said he whispered in Reid’s ear when he met her in the hallway after the game.
“I said you’re my favorite player in the league, other than my own kids,” Starkey said. “I just love the way she plays. She just commands the game, puts everybody in the right spot, makes the right plays. She’s just a phenomenal player and leader on the court. She’s their emotional centerpiece. They’ve got great pieces around her, obviously. But she’s the one that runs the show.”
The win was the 10th straight for UB (26-4) and moved the Bulls into a semifinal against No. 6 Western Michigan at 1:30 p.m. Friday. Western Michigan upset No. 3 Ball State, 65-54, Wednesday.
UB had routed 10th-seeded Kent State by 38 and 30 points in the regular season. But Kent played a strong first half, slowing the game down with a tight zone defense.
Reid never let UB lose control. The Bulls held a 32-27 halftime lead, and Reid was responsible for 26 of UB’s points. She scored 20, and her assists produced six more.
She showed off her outstanding ability to finish on drives to the rim against taller defenders, using a variety of scoop shots with varying degrees of spin off the backboard.
“We call it filet,” said UB guard Cierra Dillard. “She’s got a little filet on her layups. She’s filet mignon, with a lobster tail on the side.”
“We don’t call her Mighty Mouse for nothing,” Dillard said. “She can go out there with anybody and finish through contact.”
There is no doubt Reid is the greatest point guard – and one of the greatest players in the history of the UB program.
She entered the game seventh in the nation in assists at 7.1 a game. She’s averaging 11.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.6 steals a game.
“They were scoring a lot in the first half and we weren’t getting rebounds or steals as much so that really killed our energy,” Reid said. “We love to run in transition. That was something we were struggling with. We came out in the second half and really turned it up. Our defense is where we take a lot of pride. That really created the run that we had.”
UB finished with an amazing 20 steals, although the turnover-prone Golden Flashes played sloppy in the second half to raise the total. UB held a 41-7 edge in points off turnovers.
UB got 16 points from Dillard, the junior transfer from Massachusetts, and 11 from junior wing Autumn Jones.
Reid made 10 of 15 shots from the field.
“I think Stephanie is one of the best players arguably to come through this MAC conference,” Legette-Jack said. “She’s not going to be special all the time. Some games we’re going to go up by 30 and play 14 players. I think she gets penalized by that. When the game gets tight, the ball’s in Stephanie’s hands.”
By Buffalo News