The UB women’s basketball team (3-0) cruised to a 71-55 victory over crosstown rival Canisius (0-2) at Alumni Arena Tuesday.
Senior guard Theresa Onwuka had nine rebounds and a career-high 30 points as the Bulls opened up the season 3-0.
Buffalo got off to a sloppy start in the first quarter, with freshman forward Loren Christie missing her first two shots and racking up a pair of fouls before she was subbed out of the game.
It took more than two minutes before the Griffs finally opened up the scoring.
“I thought we started slow,” Bulls coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. “I thought we were playing passive basketball.”
Led by Onwuka and freshman guard Dyaisha Fair, the Bulls started hitting their shots — particularly from three, where they went 5-10 in the first quarter.
The Bulls were in control for most of the contest. Still, the game got close at times.
At one point in the second quarter, the Griffs pulled to within four points of the Bulls, on the back of a D’Jhai Patterson-Ricks triple. At other times, the Bulls allowed Canisius to claw its way back into the game.
“When we went up by 15 or 16 points, I thought we looked at the scoreboard. We played the scoreboard,” Legette-Jack said. “We had to readjust ourselves.”
The readjustment has started with Onwuka, a defensive-oriented guard who has found her niche this season driving into the lane and attacking the basket.
She has posted career highs in scoring for three consecutive games.
Onwuka’s strong play has mitigated the absence of senior forward Summer Hemphill, the preseason All-Big 4 basketball player of the year.
“We really miss her, but we have to do more,” Legette-Jack said.
Legette-Jack said Hemphill’s absence was like a student going away for school.
“When your sibling goes to school, and they did all of the responsibilities at home, all of the sudden it becomes, ‘We’ve got to do more, because mom said.’ And this team is willing to do whatever it takes to have success — not for wins sake, but to tell our story.”
With fellow Rochester native Cierra Dillard looking on, Fair had 24 points and 4 assists in 35 minutes.
“We’re from the same city,” Fair said. “That’s just what we do.”
This is the fifth consecutive season the Bulls have opened with a 3-0 record.
Buffalo will return to Alumni Arena Friday to take on the Columbia Lions (1-2).
Justin Weiss is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Justin Weiss is the The Spectrum's managing editor. In his free time, he can be found hiking, playing baseball or throwing things at his TV when his sports teams aren't winning. His words have appeared in Elite Sports New York and the Long Island Herald.