Thornton leads Bulls to conference victory, snapping three-game skid
Published: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 17, 2013 14:02
The women’s basketball team hit a groove this weekend. Despite being significantly outrebounded, Buffalo’s offense was in motion – thanks in large part to one player who came off the bench ready to dance.
The Bulls (8-16 6-5 Mid-American Conference) had four players score in double figures, leading them to a 79-63 victory over Eastern Michigan (6-18, 4-7 MAC) to halt a three-game losing streak. Junior forward Cherridy Thornton came off the bench to pace the Buffalo offense with 16 points, four assists and four boards.
“When our system is working at its best, it gives an opportunity for everyone on the court to be successful,” said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. “I thought today, we ran it very well.”
Freshman guard Mackenzie Loesing (15 points), sophomore forward Christa Baccas (15 points) and junior guard Margeaux Gupilan (13 points) also filled the stat sheet.
Buffalo jumped out to an early lead after a 15-0 run in the first half while shooting 58 percent from the floor. The Bulls never trailed in the contest, going into the locker room up 42-26 at intermission.
“The kids are playing hard,” Legette-Jack said. “They know if they play hard, great things can happen. Whether we are looking at ourselves as a team to beat or a team that can win, we are just trying to figure out who we are every single day.”
The Bulls’ 42 first-half points were the most they’ve scored in a half this season.
“We are just humble and hungry at the same time,” Legette-Jack said. “You know, there hasn’t been a great history of women’s basketball at [Buffalo] and that’s the hunger side. We want to change the face of women’s basketball. The humility side is that it is a process.”
The Bulls allowed 23 second-chance points and were outrebounded 47 to 31, but the squad held Eastern Michigan to just 32.4 percent shooting from the floor. Eastern Michigan’s India Hairston recorded a double-double, posting a stat line of 13 points and 13 rebounds.
“We knew we were giving up something,” Legette-Jack said. “When you play percentages a bit, we don’t mind giving up what we’ve given up for this particular game.”
The Bulls had a week off prior to the contest at Eastern Michigan, giving them a chance to regain their momentum and form.
“Our kids were getting sick,” Legette-Jack said. “They had midterms to try and prepare for. They are real serious about their academics. They were really wearing down. They had a chance to rest a little bit. Now they are locked and loaded again and are now enjoying their time back together.”
The Bulls will look to build upon their latest win as they play host to Miami Ohio Wednesday. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. at Alumni Arena.