Bulls Trounce Wildcats in Opener

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The Spectrum

After an unsuccessful 2009 season, the women's basketball team needed to make an early statement this year.

The team did so in commanding fashion in its first exhibition match of the season.

On Monday night at Alumni Arena, the Bulls routed the Daemen Wildcats 86-48 with dominant post play and smothering defense. All of Buffalo's players contributed to the winning effort.

Senior forward Kourtney Brown started the assault by scoring the team's first four field goals of the game, leading to a promising 15-0 run to start the contest.

Buffalo never looked back as its early lead turned into a 35-9 run. The Wildcats could not find any answers, as the Bulls continuously found open lanes toward the basket. On the other end of the court, the Bulls defense took the wind out of the Wildcats attack, holding them to a .269 field-goal percentage early on in the game.

"I think it was the entire team effort [that allowed us to win]," Brown said. "Everyone contributed to this win, and everyone did her part."

The Bulls did not let up in the second half, coming out of the break with a 17-0 run. Daemen didn't score until the 10-minute mark.

Brown, an All-Conference preseason selection, had a team-high 23 points and 13 rebounds.

"I think [my performance] had a lot to do with my teammates," Brown said. "They were able to give the ball to me where I was able to be successful."

The Bulls out-rebounded the Wildcats 48-34 and held them to a 30.8 field-goal percentage over the course of the night.

Senior guard Ashley Zuber and junior guard Ephesia Holmes each added 11 points in the victory. Holmes also recorded four rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Junior guard Teresa Semalulu added 12 points.

The Bulls were not flawless, however. The Wildcats were able to force the Bulls into mistakes, leading to fast break points late in the second half.

"We have to take better care of the basketball," said head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "That's the biggest thing."

After being down by as many as 47 points, Daemen hit a stride late in the game. The Wildcats found enough small holes in Buffalo's defense to strike with some quick offensive combinations. Daemen closed the game with five-straight points.

Overall, the game gave the Bulls helpful preparation for their regular season opener against Howard.

"I think we were able to [experiment with] a lot of [player] combinations on the floor," Hill-MacDonald said. "We got everybody in the game at some point… and everybody got on the scoreboard tonight. So that's huge and I think that's a great tune-up for us."

Buffalo and Howard will play on Friday at Alumni Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

E-mail: sports@ubspectrum.com