Bulls drop two straight over Thanksgiving break
Freshman Mackenzie Loesing posted a career-high 21 points against Eastern Illinois on Saturday. Alexa Strudler /// The Spectrum
While students traveled home for Thanksgiving, the women's basketball team hit the road to play in back-to-back games at the Dayton Marriott Classic.
The Bulls (1-5) dropped both games to No. 24 Dayton (6-0) and Eastern Illinois (2-2).
They took on Dayton in game one and gave the undefeated Flyers all they had through the beginning of the second half. With 17:51 remaining, the Bulls trailed only 31-30, but the Flyers got hot over the next 11 minutes and went on a 23-0 run to give them an insurmountable lead. Dayton closed out the game with a 68-44 victory.
"It's nothing we did wrong; they're just a really good team," said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. "But we did well. Our players hit shots and we moved the ball around and we found a way to exploit their weaknesses. But at the end, they just kept hitting shots from all over the gym."
The Flyers capitalized on the Bulls' mistakes, scoring 29 points off 27 Bulls turnovers.
The Bulls were led once again by freshman guard Rachael Gregory, who had a team-high 12 points, including 8-for-12 shooting at the free throw line. Fellow freshman Karin Moss chipped in a career-high 11 points, as well as knocking down the Bulls' only three 3-pointers of the game.
Things didn't get much better on Saturday when they fell to Eastern Illinois 89-73, a season high for points allowed.
It was a big second-half run that helped clip the Bulls once again. The Panthers opened the half with an 11-0 run, all points coming from Katlyn Payne who finished the game with 13 points.
All five Panthers starters scored over 10 points in the game and shot a combined 30 for 55 from the field. Ta'Kenya Dixon led the team with 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
On the other hand, the Bulls failed to have a starter record more than five points. Sophomore Christa Baccas had five points and a career-high seven blocks.
The spark for the Bulls came off the bench from a trio of young guards. Freshman Mackenzie Loesing and sophomore Sloane Walton each had career highs with 21 points apiece in the loss. Sophomore guard Valerie Majewski also had a career-high 11 points.
"They really gave us the lane a lot and that's something we didn't utilize as much as we should have in the game; if we would have, we could have come out with the win," Loesing said. "That's definitely something that I saw during the game and I took the lanes that they gave. It's good to finally get [the driving game] back."
Loesing also led the Bulls with eight assists and five rebounds and became the first freshman to score over 20 points since the 2007-08 season.
The Bulls knocked down 14 three-pointers, tying a school record set back in the 1996-97 season.
"It's going to be a journey with us; this is a team that hasn't won a lot and so we're teaching them how to believe they can win and then to win, and then continue to win, so that's a process," Legette-Jack.
Up next for Buffalo is Duquesne (4-1). The game is the first of a home doubleheader with the men's basketball team; tipoff is set for 5 p.m.
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