Late-game comeback falls short, Bulls remain winless on season
The women's basketball team fought back but couldn't overcome a double-digit deficit.
The Bulls (0-2) hosted Youngstown St. (2-0) in a rare school-day game at noon on Tuesday. A late rally from an 18-point deficit wasn't quite enough as the Bulls fell short, losing 60-50 at Alumni Arena.
It was a game of runs for both teams. After trailing 18-17 late in the first half, the Bulls' offensive struggles began as the Penguins went on a 12-0 run. In nine possessions, the Bulls missed three jump shots and turned the ball over six times.
"[It was a] tale of two halves; our second half was really a half that we were proud of," said women's basketball head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. "We made some mistakes in the second half but I like the energy we created in the second."
The Penguins opened their lead to 50-32 midway through the second half, but the Bulls finally found their stride on offense.
Over the next five minutes, the Bulls went on a 15-3 run to cut the lead to six. But they couldn't finish the rally and committed a few crucial turnovers. The Penguins maintained their lead for the victory.
"They just kind of dropped their shoulders and started playing," Legette-Jack said. "It's no secret to what you say. It's when the players decide they want to compete, and that's when runs happen. That group out there decided they want to compete."
The Bulls were led by freshman guard Rachel Gregory, who torched the Penguins for 17 points, including three 3-pointers.
"Everybody was on the same page in the second half," Gregory said. "It was a hard loss but I think that we'll come together and rally together and fight hard and continue on as a team."
Sophomore forward Christa Baccas was one point shy of a double-double, as she chipped in for nine points and snagged 12 boards.
Down low, the Bulls had no answer for Youngstown State forward Brandi Brown, a two-time second-team All-Horizon selection, who led the Penguins with 24 points and 15 rebounds. Point guard Shar'Rae Davis consistently drove the ball to the basket and had 19 points of her own, and fellow guard Liz Hornberger drilled four 3-pointers. The trio played 38 minutes apiece in the contest.
The defeat to the Penguins wasn't the only loss the Bulls suffered. With 2:20 left in the game, junior forward Nytor Longar hit the deck and suffered an apparent leg injury. The trainers assisted her as she hobbled off, and her injury status is currently unknown. Longar finished the game with six points and six rebounds in only 15 minutes of action.
It's been a tough start for the Bulls under the new era of Legette-Jack. They have now dropped their first three games, including an exhibition game loss to Division II opponent Gannon.
"We're still trying to figure out what group plays well together and what we should look for," Legette-Jack said. "It's still a work in progress; it's still early."
The Bulls have a few days off before they begin a three-game road trip.
"Right now we have to continue to get to know each other and continue to put teams away when we're up early and know how to fight back and finish, and we'll get there," Legette-Jack said.
On Friday, Buffalo will travel to play Oakland (3-0) at 6:30 p.m.
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