Brown Does It Again
Bulls Dominate Against Local Rival
The women's basketball team traveled 10 minutes down the road looking to repeat what the men's team did earlier this year – run Canisius out of its own gym.
Buffalo (4-3) utilized a dominating second half performance to rout its Big Four rival 79-50 on Wednesday night.
Both teams came out playing at a fast pace from the opening tip. However, the first half was sloppy for the Bulls as they committed several key turnovers that allowed Canisius (2-3) to keep the game close.
The Bulls cleaned up their play in the second half and ended up winning the turnover battle, 19-14, which was key in the victory. Head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald was especially happy with the way the Bulls closed out the game.
"The energy was incredible on the floor for every player," Hill-MacDonald said. "Even when we brought [bench] players in, there really wasn't a drop off in the energy. They were really feeding off of one another."
One big reason for the Bulls' lopsided victory was senior forward Kourtney Brown.
Brown finished the night with a stellar 26 points and 15 rebounds, her 33rd career double-double. She, however, was quick to credit her teammates for the victory as well.
"I get double teamed, I get triple teamed and it's easy to kick it out to my teammates because I know they're going to hit the shot," Brown said. "I know they're going to be open. Like coach has said before, we all sync together really well."
Hill-MacDonald had high praise for her senior forward.
"Kourtney Brown is one of the most phenomenal players I've ever had the pleasure of coaching," Hill-MacDonald said. "What you saw on the court today is what she does every day at practice. So she's always prepared because she prepares herself daily."
The Bulls undoubtedly proved that their chemistry as a team has grown since the beginning of the season. Hill-MacDonald credits this to the hard work that the team put in during the offseason.
Over the summer, the players made commitments to themselves and their teammates, according to Hill-MacDonald. They were on campus playing pick-up and learning more about each other. The results the team is seeing early on stem from that commitment.
It was easy to see that the Bulls were all on the same page on Wednesday night. Brown thinks that this is only the beginning and that the team will become even closer as the season progresses.
"I think right now our chemistry is really great," Brown said. "We've had a couple games to build it up and integrate our freshman and now we're clicking. We do it in practice and it transfers over into the games."
Freshman forward Kristen Sharkey has played well this season for the Bulls, and she turned in another great performance off the bench against the Golden Griffins. She finished the game with 14 points in 14 minutes and grabbed four rebounds.
Hill-MacDonald is happy with the play of the freshman early on and attributes her success to the way she plays inside. Sharkey makes it hard for opposing forwards to deal with her inside and takes some pressure off of Brown offensively. Hill-MacDonald is excited to see what she'll be able to accomplish during her career.
The Bulls played tough and physical throughout the contest and were able to make the most out of their trips to the free throw line. Buffalo sealed the victory by going 21-for-30 from the charity stripe.
Brown knew this game would be a slugfest coming in and she was happy with the way her team responded.
"Every year Canisius is always a physical team and we knew it was going to be a physical game," Brown said. "It's nice when you're able to get to the line and hit the free throws. We were prepared for their physicality."
Canisius failed to have a single player score in double-digits. The Bulls shut down the Griffs and held them to 31 percent shooting for the game. Buffalo outrebounded Canisius 50-38.
The Bulls will return home Monday for a tough test against Duquesne (4-1). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Alumni Arena.
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