‘We are enough’

Women’s basketball senior day leaves little to the imagination

womens-basketball

“We are enough.”

The back of every shirt UB women’s basketball players wore on Saturday had those words. The Bulls defeated Miami (OH) by 25 points, but the victory wasn’t the most important part of the performance.

Buffalo celebrated senior day in front of the largest crowd they’ve had all season. Seniors Cierra Dillard, Autumn Jones, Ayoleka Sodade, Brittney Morrison and Courtney Wilkins were all honored afterward. They all scored a basket.

“What a powerful day. I am so proud of these young ladies," head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said to the crowd after the game. “Courtney, Leka and Brittany bought into what we teach. They had a chance to walk away but to stay and compete, I'm eternally grateful. And then to add AJ and Cierra to solidify our senior class, I just want to keep winning more games so the world can see how far we have come. We are a better team because these seniors came through Buffalo."

The Bulls sit in third place in the Mid-American Conference behind Central Michigan, Ohio and Miami (OH). They beat Ohio and Miami by a combined 55 points this week.

Not many would have expected the Bulls to be in this situation this year. Some thought the Bulls wouldn’t be enough but they have proven their doubters wrong time and time again.

Buffalo lost three starters from a year ago, Stephanie Reid, Cassie Oursler and Katherine Ups. The Bulls lost five seniors in total.

Teams that lose five players and three starters typically aren’t in a position to repeat what happened last year.

But these Bulls are different.

Dillard was knocked down and appeared to hurt her shooting elbow. She didn’t ask to come out of the game and certainly wasn’t going to be afraid to play her game.

Dillard torched the RedHawks for 31 points and found open teammates time and time again leading to her eight assists. It’s that kind of attitude that makes her a WNBA prospect.

The Bulls are still a young team and have struggled to find the same consistency they had last year. 

Buffalo made it to the Sweet-16 last season and accumulated only six losses all year in 35 total games. This year’s team already has eight through 27.

The reality is that the program might not make it back to the Sweet-16 or even the NCAA tournament this season. Buffalo will probably have to win the MAC Championship this season to have a chance and conquer the one team it has beat only once over the past two seasons, Central Michigan. 

Legette-Jack’s teams aren’t defined by the postseason success they might have or the accolades they accumulate, they’re defined by the quality and character of the person leaving the team.

Legette-Jack said she is incredibly proud of her team this year and every year. 

Nathaniel Mendelson is the senior sports editor and can be reached at nathaniel.mendelson@ubspectrum.com.

NATHANIEL MENDELSON


 Nathaniel Mendelson has been writing for The Spectrum since 2018, mainly covering football, men's basketball and softball. He currently works for The Buffalo News and has a daily article on buffalobills.com. Other responsibilities include managing the office fish tank.