UB women’s basketball routs Akron
UB scores season high 81 points in 30-point victory
For the first 55 seconds of the game, UB women’s basketball (18-7, 8-6) and Mid-American Conference foe Akron (2-11, 9-15), were knotted up at zero.
From that point forward, it was all Buffalo. The Bulls dominated in a 81-51 thrashing of the Zips.
UB jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the first four minutes of the game and held Akron to 13 points in the first half, in which they shot just 6 of 34 from the field and went 0-10 from beyond the arc. The Bulls led by as many as 44 points midway through the third quarter and their consistent full court pressure defensively flustered Akron, causing them to hoist up prayer shots with just seconds left on the shot clock.
UB head coach Felisha Legette-Jack was pleased with the defensive effort of her team.
“It was a fun game. We’re playing the game to tell our story and our story has started from the beginning, but we had a lot of hiccups down the stretch, and we stopped defending the way we knew how,” Legette-Jack said. “We got back to understanding that the defense is going to create the offense, and in order to have a good offensive team, you have to go from the inside out and I thought we did a great job with that today.”
Legette-Jack also attributed her defense as the main contributor as to how UB was so successful from three, shooting 13 of 30 from beyond the arc – well above their 28 percent season average.
Junior center Cassie Oursler had a significant impact for the Bulls while defending inside. She blocked five shots, tying a career high. She also added 13 points in only 20 minutes, sitting the majority of the second half along with the rest of the starters due to the large lead.
“It was just a really fun game. The people that are out there on the court with me make me feel confident and I know if I miss they’re gonna have my rebounds,” Oursler said. “I just have to play smart, I’ve been telling the coaches, ‘Tell me when I’m fouling in practice, I need to get it in my head what my fouls are.’"
Oursler did not pick up a single foul despite playing physical defense in the paint all game long.
“Coach Jack doesn’t want me to be a shot blocker, she just wants me to play defense,” Oursler said.
Legette-Jack had high praise for Oursler, and says that her success will translate to team success as well.
“She’s finally feeling good, she’s been battling injuries,” Legette-Jack said. “She’s able to run the floor and take those opportunities. I said this since the beginning of the year, you win a championship game in my opinion by going through your big. Cassie I think could be one of top two posts in the conference. We’re gonna feed her until she’s full and then we’ll go somewhere else.”
Senior guard JoAnna Smith also contributed 15 points in 18 minutes, passing MacKenzie Loesing for ninth all-time on the UB women’s scoring leaders list. Junior guard Stephanie Reid posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists.
The Bulls will look to build off of their two game win streak on Wednesday against MAC East leaders Ohio in the second game of a three-game homestand.
Justin Bystrak is a sports staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org