MOUNT PLEASANT, MI – The University at Buffalo women’s basketball team (16-4, 7-2 MAC) saw their five game winning streak snapped on Wednesday night on the road as the Central Michigan Chippewas (17-3, 9-0 MAC) handed the Bulls the 86-79 loss at McGuirk Arena.
UB had a slow start to the game offensively as the Chippewas were able to race out to the 5-0 lead before Cierra Dillarddrilled back-to-back jumpers. The Chippewas then pushed the lead out to 11-4 at the first media timeout but the Bulls fought back with a 6-2 run that was capped by a Cassie Oursler offensive rebound and layup to make the score 13-10 in favor of the home team. Central Michigan then closed the quarter out on a 10-2 run to take the 23-12 lead through 10 minutes.
The two sides went back-and-forth to start the second quarter before Presley Hudson drilled a circus three pointer to give the Chippewas their biggest lead of the half, 33-17. Buffalo wasted no time responding as Katherin Ups began a big run for the Bulls with a triple of her own. Buffalo used their defense and some strong play from Summer Hemphill (Seneca Nation) across the final five minutes of the half to close things out on a 17-5 run. Hemphill finished with six of the 17 points while Katherine Upshad seven for UB as they were able to cut their deficit to 38-35 heading into the locker room.
Not an ideal start to the second half for UB as the Chippewas scored the first four points but Reid and Dillard knocked down triples and Hemphill finished off a fast break layup to get UB within one, 44-43. Central Michigan then used a 16-2 run to open things up in the third after Reid picked up her fourth foul but Dillard kept UB in the game scoring five straight. The Chippewas scored the final three points of the half to take the 62-50 edge in to the final quarter.
After falling behind by 15 to start the fourth quarter, the Bulls began to crawl back into the game as Reid entered off the bench with four fouls and provided the spark. Reid drilled a triple and finished off a layup and free throw before feeding Hemphill for a fast break layup to spark a 9-0 run by UB and make the score 67-61 in favor of the Chippewas. Buffalo wasn’t able to continue the pressure and get any closer down the final four minutes of the game as the Chippewas hit their free throws to secure the 86-79 home victory and improve to 9-0 in MAC play.
UB had multiple 20+ point scorers for the second straight game as Dillard led the Bulls with 22 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals while Reid finished off her second straight 20+ point game with 20 points, four assists, three rebounds and two steals. Hemphill continued her strong play with her third double-double of the season as she netted 15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals in the loss.
Katherine Ups finished off her night with nine points, four steals and three rebounds while Courtney Wilkins came off the bench and provided UB with five points and four rebounds in four minutes of work.
For the game, the Bulls defense was able to force 21 turnovers as they have now notched 12 straight games with forcing 20+ turnovers from their opponents. The Bulls were also able to turn their chances into 21 points. The Chippewas were able to outrebound the Bulls 55-47 but UB was able to turn 18 offensive boards into 30 second chance points, a season-high.
The Chippewas were led by Tinara Moore who finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds while Presley Hudson netted 22 points, six rebounds and five assists in the win.
The Bulls will remain on the road for their next MAC test as they will head to Toledo to take on the Rockets for the second time this season on Saturday afternoon. Saturday’s game will tip at 2:00 pm inside Savage Arena.