Bulls defeats Saint Francis for first win of season

Buffalo uses second half run to claim victory

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In its regular season opener against Siena last Friday, the women’s basketball team allowed the Saints to grab 49 rebounds and go on a 15-0 run to end the game, resulting in a 58-50 loss.

On Tuesday, the Bulls (1-1) grabbed 69 rebounds and went a second half run of their own to earn their first victory of the season.

The Bulls defeated St. Francis (0-2), 88-80, in Loretto, Pennsylvania Tuesday night. Buffalo outrebounded the Red Flash by 25 and held them to less than 35 percent shooting from the field.

“We challenged them,” said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. “We knew that they were known for putting up a ton of threes, so we allowed them to get their looks, but contested them on every shot. We also made sure to keep a rebounder or two need the glass, eliminating any second chances.”

The Bulls used a 20-6 run to take a 17-point lead in the second half. Buffalo had five players score in double figures, four of which grabbed double-digit rebounds. Junior guard Mackenzie Loesing had a complete game, finishing with a game-high 26 points, while adding five rebounds, three rebounds and three steals. Senior forward Kristen Sharkey added 18 points, 16 rebounds and three steals, while sophomore forward Alexus Malone had 10 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Legette-Jack was impressed by a player who did not log a single minute in Buffalo’s season-opener last Friday.

“Cameron Miley really stepped up for us,” Legette-Jack said. “When Miley plays well, it allows us to play her and Mackenzie together, and more importantly, moves Mackenzie out of the point guard spot. When she plays well, she really gives us a different look on the floor.”

With Karin Moss out of the lineup, Miley played 24 minutes Tuesday and finished with 10 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

It was the second game in a row that the Bulls forced an opponent to shoot less than 35 percent from the field. The Bulls also forced 19 turnovers in 102 Red Flash possessions.

St.Francis, known for its up-tempo and high volume of three-point shots, attempted 29 3-pointers but only made six of them.

“The most important thing is that we helped each other out there,” Legette Jack said. “The high hands, boxing out on jumpers, cupping each other for help defense, I thought we did some good things defensively, and that was the second game in a row where we played really well.”

The Bulls continued to give the ball away Tuesday, however, turning the ball over 29 turnovers. Buffalo now has at least 20 turnovers in back-to-back games.

"The turnovers are a problem,” Legette-Jack said. “We need to cut them down. Our guards combined for 11 of them, so we’ll need to work on simply controlling the ball as we continue play this season. Turning he ball over this many times is simply not acceptable.”

The Bulls return home to play Niagara (0-2) at Alumni Arena on Saturday at 2 p.m. The lake effect snowstorm stranded the Purple Eagles team bus on the thruway for more than 24 hours from Monday night to Wednesday morning. Saturday’s game is currently still scheduled to take place.

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