The edge: Buffalo vs. Bowling Green
Previewing the women's basketball game against the Falcons
The women’s basketball team will take on the Bowling Green Falcons in their game on Wednesday. The Bulls are having a stellar season, heading into the game at Bowling Green with a five game win streak. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
The Bulls (21-4, 12-2 MAC) currently sit atop the East division in the Mid-American Conference, while the Falcons (10-15, 2-12 MAC) are tied for last in the conference. The Falcons will be coming in off an eight-game losing streak. Here are the position breakdowns for the upcoming conference game.
Senior center Cassie Oursler has been a force, scoring and at the boards, having seven double-doubles already this season. She has averaged 16.4 points and 11.4 rebounds in her last five games. Expect Oursler to continue her strong play while possibly leading the game in rebounds.
The Falcons have some strength at the five spot, but not at the same level as Oursler. Sophomore center Jane Uecker is the team’s most experienced center, but none of the Falcons’ centers have had the same numbers or experience Oursler. Expect the Falcons to try multiple centers in Wednesday's game, but none going over 20 minutes.
Sophomore forward Summer Hemphill has been the Bulls’ most consistent scorer, averaging 60.8 percent shooting this season. Hemphill has shot below 50 percent once since January, while also being one of the team’s top scorers. She had 18 points and 9 rebounds in her last game against the Akron Zips (8-17, 2-12 MAC). Add in the solid bench selection of forwards the Bulls have and it would seem Buffalo has the advantage.
The Falcons fair just as poorly at the forward position as they do the center spot. Expect the Falcons to call on junior guard Sydney Lambert to play the most minutes in the forward spot. She has scored 10 points or more in four of her last five games.
The Bulls have the most team depth at the one and two spot. Between senior guard Stephanie Reid, junior guard Cierra Dillard and the crop of talented guards on the bench, the Bulls would outmatch any team in the MAC.
Reid will look to lead the Bulls on the court, while looking to pass and attack the lane to create assist and scoring opportunities. Dillard will be a threat shooting and defensively in every minute she plays. Add that with a three guard scheme and a bench full of players capable of shooting from beyond the arc and the Bulls have the ability to tire out most teams they play.
The Falcons’ best guard is junior Carly Santoro. Santoro had 16 points in the Falcons’ last game and a double-double in the game before that. Expect her and sophomore guard Caterrion Thompson to do about a third of the Falcons’ scoring on Wednesday.
Head coach Felisha Legette-Jack has had a tremendous season already and don’t expect that to change in this game. Legette-Jack has done a great job this year in keeping the Bulls sharp. If they are underperforming on defense, she gets them to pick it up shooting. If the shots aren’t going in, she gets the Bulls to push harder on defense. She is never satisfied with her team’s performance, always looking for the Bulls to play better in all their games.
Jennifer Roos has coached the Falcons in over 500 games. Still, Roos has struggled with her team as of late, while the Bulls are coming in having one of the program’s best seasons. Roos will have to get the Falcons playing much better basketball than they have all season if they hope to win.
Thomas Zafonte is the senior sports editor and can be reached at email@example.com.