UB women’s basketball stunned by Bowling Green 64-62
Bowling Green spoils JoAnna Smith’s senior day
On Saturday, UB women’s basketball paid tribute to one the greatest players in program history.
Guard JoAnna Smith, the only senior on the team, had her senior night spoiled by a stunning upset.
Bowling Green (8-20, 4-12 Mid American Conference) defeated the Bulls (19-8, 9-7 MAC) 64-62 Saturday afternoon at Alumni Arena. The Falcons were led by sophomore guard Sydney Lambert, who had a team high 18 points, shooting 5-10 from three. Sophomore guard Carly Santoro contributed 17 points in the upset victory.
Head coach Felisha Legette-Jack was disappointed with her team’s effort on the glass.
“One thing that is most disappointing for me as a coach, because I played the post position, is the lack of respect of the box out,” Legette-Jack said. “Sometimes when our team sees a team that’s smaller, we have a tendency to think that we can out jump them. And it’s clear that that’s not the case.”
The Bulls took a 32-28 lead going into the half. Prior to the game, they had been 15-1 when leading at halftime.
UB went six minutes without scoring a point in the middle of the fourth quarter until junior guard Stephanie Reid drove into the lane and converted on a layup in traffic.
The Bulls had their chances to tie the game up and force it into overtime on multiple occasions within the final minute. With 49.4 seconds left, freshman forward Theresa Onwuka made just one of two shots to cut the Bowling Green lead to 62-61.
With 8.4 seconds left in the game, freshman forward Summer Hemphill was fouled inside after fighting inside to grab two offensive rebounds, one which she got off of her own miss. She also made one of two, giving Bowling Green a 63-62 lead.
Smith fouled out with 7.5 seconds left, sending Carly Santoro to the line. She also made just one of two, giving the Bulls a chance to win it being down 64-62 with 6.2 seconds left.
Reid missed a highly contested layup with two seconds remaining and Hemphill missed a layup off the offensive rebound as time expired.
UB took an uncharacteristic amount of three-point shots in the game, with 24 of their 58 shots coming from beyond the arc. They made just eight, with five coming from Smith, who on scored 25 points on 10 of 19 shooting from the field before fouling out.
Reid broke former Bull player and current assistant coach Ashley Zuber’s single season assist record of 198 with a third quarter assist to sophomore Gabi Bade.
“It’s a good achievement, but it doesn’t mean anything unless we win,” Reid said. “To be honest, it doesn’t mean anything unless we could’ve won for Jo on senior day. She’s definitely more than 50 percent of those.”
Reid and Smith combined to score 41 of the team’s 62 points. At one point the duo teamed up to score 17 consecutive points for the Bulls, starting on a Smith layup with one minute left in the first half.
The other eight players who saw time for UB combined for just seven field goals.
“Two can’t beat five,” Legette-Jack said. “Stephanie had five assists, had we caught her passes and made some layups, she would’ve easily had ten assists today. The focus isn’t where it needed to be.”
Legette-Jack also emphasized that this loss does not mean the end of the world for the team, and that they will use a game like this to better prepare themselves for the road ahead in the MAC tournament.
She addressed the crowd of 1,604 at the end of the game saying, “Keep believing in us. We’re taking baby steps. We’re not done yet.”
The Bulls will travel to Akron on Wednesday. They are looking to get back on track against the Zips, whom they beat 81-51 last Saturday at Alumni Arena.
Justin Bystrack is a sports staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org