The Bulls (18-11, 9-9 MAC) celebrated their only graduating senior Theresa Onwuka on Saturday’s senior night, as UB closed out the regular season with a 72-58 win against Kent State (18-11, 11-7 MAC).
Onwuka’s final regular season game for the Bulls came with a milestone: her 1,000th career point.
The Bulls, even with the win, failed to earn a first-round bye in the MAC tournament. The team will return to Alumni Arena to take on Miami (OH) Monday at 5 p.m.
The Bulls came out strong defensively, forcing Kent State to five first-quarter turnovers and holding the Golden Flashes to 21% shooting from the field.
The Bulls led at the end of the first quarter 18-12 as they shot an efficient 8-16 from the field, with two of those field goals being triples.
Kent State sophomore forward Lindsey Thall kept the game close as she hit four 3-pointers in the first half, cutting the Bulls’ lead to only a point heading into the locker room.
Thall ended the contest with a game-high 28 points and 9 rebounds.
Freshman guard Dyaisha Fair led the team offensively with 25 points. Onwuka added 16, tailing 12 of them in the first half.
UB’s offense heated up quickly to start the third as junior forward Marissa Hamilton and sophomore forward Adebola Adeyeye connected on back-to-back buckets, giving the Bulls a 32-27 lead.
The Bulls soon went on a 6-3 run capitalizing on a Golden Flashes scoring drought. They continued to dominate offensively and found themselves leading 51-37 to close out the third.
Kent State opened the fourth on a 7-0 run before Fair put one home to put UB ahead by 10. Fair continued her offensive dominance as she made an essential layup and connected on her free throw, giving UB a 62-48 advantage heading to the final media time out.
Onwuka connected on a jumper for the 1,000th career point, extending her team’s lead to 66-50.
The Bulls’ offensive dominance was too much for the Golden Flashes, as they pulled within no more than 11. UB made critical stops and ran out the clock to secure the victory.
“What a great story that we’re telling,” head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. “This team that decided they were going to decide when they were going to put the period, their ending to their story and they just weren’t ready to let it be today. We made some adjustments defensively but it’s on the back of Theresa Onwuka. She demonstrated that she’s a leader of our defense and we made some really good stops and we held another team under 59 points.”
The Bulls look to win Monday, as they will host the first-round MAC tournament game.
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