Rough return home
Women’s basketball falls to Duquesne
Freshman forward Rachael Gregory (31) scored 12 points, but the Bulls could not overcome Duquesne. Nick Fischetti /// The Spectrum
As students piled back into Alumni Arena on Wednesday night, nearly a week after Thanksgiving, they hoped to continue the feast with two energetic games of basketball. The women's basketball team opened for the men's squad in the season's first doubleheader.
The Bulls (1-6) dropped their fourth consecutive game of the season, losing to Duquesne (5-1), 78-52. This was the first home game for the Bulls following a four-game road trip.
Buffalo struggled to stop Duquesne both inside and outside. The Dukes shot over 47 percent from behind the arc (11 for 23) and outworked the Bulls in the paint, winning the rebound margin, 52-37. Duquesne finished with 20 second-chance points to Buffalo's 11.
Buffalo head coach Felisha Legette-Jack liked the toughness the Bulls showed, though they did not execute.
"As weird as what it is I'm about to say, I thought we got better today," Legette-Jack said. "I thought we got tougher today. We certainly could've boxed out more. We have to get back to understanding that it's not about out-jumping people."
Buffalo struggled early with Duquesne's full-court press defense. Legette-Jack called a 30-second timeout following Buffalo's third turnover in the first two minutes. The Bulls defeated the press the next possession, as freshman forward Rachael Gregory put in an easy lay-up.
The Bulls trailed at the half 38-26 after shooting 31 percent from the field.
"We knew they ran a 1-3-1 [press]," Gregory said. "We tried to offset that and get people open, and I think that worked a lot in the first half. We got a few assists by being able to work the ball around the zone. They are a good team. It was a good press, but we were able to find a few seams in some of that."
Duquesne extended its lead in the second half by going on a 16-3 run that lasted until shortly after the 12-minute mark.
The three-point shot continued to kill the Bulls. The Dukes hit four of their first five from downtown in the second half, compared to the Bulls' 5-for-19 performance throughout the game.
"A few of them were wide open and that was a problem," Legette-Jack said.
The Bulls got outscored 40-26 in the second half en route to the 26-point defeat.
Freshman guard Mackenzie Loesing followed a career-high 21-point performance with a team-leading 19 points, while shooting 3 of 7 from deep. She pulled in five rebounds for the Bulls, as well, in 34 minutes of action.
Gregory gave the fans at Alumni Arena a scare when they saw their leading scorer slow to get up following a hard fall near the basket with six minutes remaining in the game. But she returned to the game following a short stint on the bench. Gregory described the incident as a knee-to-knee collision resulting in a bruise and said she "should be fine." Gregory finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
The Bulls finished with 14 assists - eight coming from junior guard Margeaux Gupilan.
The young team continues to gel and looks to improve game by game as the season progresses into conference play.
"We are growing as a team," Gregory said. "We are growing together and I think we will be fine by the time February comes around [for conference play]. I think everybody is starting to get on the same page."
The Bulls go back on the road to face Bucknell (4-2), which has won four straight, on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
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