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ANOTHER HOME GAME, ANOTHER WIN FOR UB WOMEN
Also: the MAC goes bowling.
Image from UBBulls.com
In Sunday’s matinee showdown between the potential candidates for the Syracuse women’s basketball head coaching job in 2022 (Buffalo’s Felisha Legette-Jack is an Orange legend, and Rhode Island’s Tammi Reiss was a ‘Cuse assistant coach from 2015 to 2019), the Bulls came out on top.
Redshirt fifth year post powerhouse Summer Hemphill scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed six rebounds while freshman guard/Australian sensation Georgia Woolley came off the bench to score 13 points on four-of-seven shooting from the field to led UB (5-2) to a surprisingly comfortable 69-55 home victory over the Rams (7-3).
It was Buffalo’s fourth straight win at Alumni Arena and further proof of the Bulls’ near-legendary defensive prowess: UB is 55-0 over the last five-plus seasons when holding opponents to 59 points or less.
There was some light turbulence before landing this victory. Buffalo cruised into the fourth quarter with a 57-41 lead when things got a bit choppy.
Rhode Island started the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to eight before Woolley scored to limit the damage. Back-to back jumpers by Hemphill and (senior forward Adebola) Adeyeye extended the UB lead and Hemphill would convert the mid-range again to put UB up 65-52 at the 4:15 mark. Chanell Williams got a second chance three to go a minute later to cut the Buffalo lead to 10 but that would be as close as they would get as the UB defense held the Rams scoreless over the final three minutes of play and Hemphill added a pair of jumpers to seal the victory for the Bulls.
…Buffalo forced 19 Rhody turnovers, turning those miscues into 17 points, while also scoring 22 points in the paint and converting nine offensive rebounds into 16 second chance points.
"We talked to our players and asked them what's their biggest fear and we decided that we are not going to have fear, we are going to have liberation," said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. "We are going to make mistakes, but we are going to point and say I need help. When you don't care who gets the credit, we all get the credit. Four players scoring in double figures again says a little bit about who we are. We don't have a go-to player, we have a go-to team."
Let’s hear it again: “We are not going to have fear, we are going to have liberation. We don’t have a go-to player, we have a go-to team.” You gotta love that.
Junior guard Dyaisha Fair came tantalizingly close to a triple-double with 11 points, nine assists, and eight rebounds (she’s 5’5, by the way). Senior guard Jazmine Young added 10 points and four boards.
Next up for the Bulls: a Wednesday visit from Virginia Commonwealth (5-2) to Alumni Arena. Tipoff is 7 p.m. The UB men also play on Wednesday, visiting Western Kentucky for a 7 p.m. game at E.A. Diddle Arena.
MAC FOOTBALL: EIGHT BOWL BIDS, A NEW CONFERENCE RECORD
Image from cmuchippewas.com
Well, if UB had squeaked out two more wins this season, the Bulls would have gone bowling. Instead, they’re one of just four teams in the 12-team Mid-American Conference staying home for the holidays.
From the tastefully named getsomemaction.com, official website of the MAC:
The Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced today a MAC-record eight programs have accepted bowl invitations for the 2021 bowl season. The eight bowl invitations tops the Conference mark of seven set in 2012 and 2015.
Toledo (Bahamas Bowl), Northern Illinois (Tailgreeter Cure Bowl), Eastern Michigan (Lending Tree Bowl), Kent State (Famous Idaho Potato Bowl), Miami (Frisco Football Classic), Ball State (Camellia Bowl), Western Michigan (Quick Lane Bowl), and Central Michigan (Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl) will represent the MAC in bowl games this season.
"I could not be happier for our students, coaches and fans selected to play in a Conference record eight bowl games," said MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher. "The matchups are exciting and present opportunities for memorable experiences for those involved. I appreciate our bowl partners who work all year to facilitate unique experiences for game participants and fans."
Here’s the schedule:
Toledo vs. Middle Tennessee State (C-USA), Bahamas Bowl, Dec. 17, Noon ET (ESPN)
Northern Illinois vs. Coastal Carolina (Sun Belt), Tailgreeter Cure Bowl, Dec. 17, 6 PM ET/5 PM CT (ESPN2)
Eastern Michigan vs. Liberty (Ind.), Lending Tree Bowl, Dec. 18, 5:45 PM ET (ESPN)
Kent State vs. Wyoming (Mountain West), Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Dec. 21, 3:30 PM ET (ESPN)
Miami vs. North Texas (C-USA), Frisco Football Classic, Dec. 23, 3:30 PM ET (ESPN)
Ball State vs. Georgia State (Sun Belt), Camellia Bowl, Dec. 25, 2:30 PM ET (ESPN)
Western Michigan vs. Nevada (Mountain West), Quick Lane Bowl, Dec. 27, 11 AM ET (ESPN)
Central Michigan vs. Boise State (Mountain West), Barstool Sports Arizona Bowl, Dec. 31, 2 PM ET (Barstool Sports)
A good time will be had by all.