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UB women's basketball is undefeated no more

Dismal offensive night ends Bulls’ undefeated start

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Head coach Felisha Legette-Jack didn’t exactly plan for her return to Hofstra to transpire like it did.

The women’s basketball team was ranked No. 26 in the RPI nationally and was yielding an undefeated start. But a sluggish game all around on Thursday night put an end to the impressive streak to open the season – and left many question marks for a young team.

Hofstra (6-1) defeated the Bulls (6-1) 79-36 in Hempstead, New York Thursday, which ends Buffalo’s six-game winning streak to start the season. It was Legette-Jack’s first game against her former team, which she coached from 2002 to 2006, since coming to UB in 2012.

“It just wasn’t our game,” Legette-Jack said. “From beginning to the end, we didn’t play the basketball I thought we could play.”

The Bulls, who had been impressive on offense and defense nearly every game this season, were outmatched by the Pride, who held Buffalo to a season-low 36 points and forced them to shoot just 23.4 percent from the field.

It was evident from the first quarter that the Bulls were overmatched. Hofstra got out to a 10-point lead and held Buffalo to just 12 shots in the 10-minute timeframe. The Pride began the game on an 8-0 run. Buffalo only got within seven points throughout the entire night.

The Bulls came out sluggish with more turnovers in the first quarter than made shots (five turnovers to four made baskets).

The only positive during the first quarter was the play of junior guard Joanna Smith. She scored five of Buffalo’s nine points in the quarter and connected on a deep three-pointer.

But that was nearly the only positive on offense for Smith and the rest of the team. Smith only scored four points for the remainder of the game and the three-pointer was the team’s only make from three for the night. The Bulls shot a dismal 1-of-19 from three-point range.

Senior guard Karin Moss hit the first six points – both three-pointers – for Buffalo in the fourth quarter, trying to get a spark going on the court.

The Bulls’ offense would end with Moss’ last three-pointer.

The Pride went on a 23-0 run to end the game, providing Hofstra a statement victory over its former coach.

In her final season at Hofstra, Legette-Jack guided the Pride to a 19-12 record and made it to the second round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT).

Legette-Jack said the Bulls made it a point to secure a victory for her in her return, but the team was unable to get anything going.

“This team is really close and I feel like I’m a part of the team,” Legette-Jack said of her connection to the Bulls’ players. “I think they tried to play hard for me, coming back to Hofstra for the first time in 10 years. It just didn’t work out. We don’t want to play like this anymore.”

The loss ends Buffalo’s historic run to begin a season. The Bulls’ 6-0 start was their best start to a season since the 2000-01 season, where they started 8-0 to begin the year.

Legette-Jack has been preaching teamwork basketball since the offseason, but was upset it was not present during Thursday’s loss. She said in order to return to winning ways, the Bulls must return to playing “Buffalo basketball” and forget about the tough loss.

“We’re not going to even talk about Hofstra anymore,” Legette-Jack said. “They beat us. They won the game. Let’s win the war by bouncing back against Duquesne.”

Buffalo will return home on Sunday after a three-game road trip to face Duquesne (6-1) before hitting the road once again to take on Big 4 opponent St. Bonaventure (4-2) on Wednesday night.

Tipoff for Sunday is set for 2 p.m.

Jordan Grossman is the co-senior sports editor and can be reached at jordan.grossman@ubspectrum.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jordanmgrossman. 


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