Women’s basketball (24-8, 16-4 MAC) demolished Akron (17-11, 13-7 MAC), 82-43, in the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland Friday.
The Bulls entered confidently with a seven-game winning streak under their belt, a confidence that was only bolstered after the Akron win marked UB’s second consecutive game where their opponent was held to less than 50 points.
Junior guard Dyaisha Fair shined with 28 points, five rebounds, six assists and four steals. Freshman guard Georgia Woolley showed out too, landing an impressive 20 points, three rebounds and two steals.
Senior forward Adebola Adeyeye managed to score in the double-digits as well with 13 points and eight rebounds. Adeyeye helped UB take complete control of the court, as the Bulls outscored Akron 46-16 inside the paint and outrebounded the Zips by 11 on the glass.
The Bulls’ dual offensive-defensive strength allowed them to score 13 points off 15 rebounds and 22 points from Zips’ turnovers, with an added 17 fastbreak points.
Defensively, UB held Akron to a 25.8% field goal percentage and a 5.3% clip from the three-point arc.
Adeyeye set the tone right away with a layup alongside a Fair steal to score on a fastbreak and put UB up 9-6 at the first media timeout.
Woolley and Fair both hit first quarter three-pointers — with Fair’s going down at the buzzer —to give UB a 20-12 lead after one.
Akron started the second quarter on a 7-2 run before Woolley nailed a floater in transition to leave the Bulls up 24-19 at the 7:28 mark of the second quarter.
UB kept its guard up, holding the Zips scoreless for the final 4:08 of the half.
The third quarter saw graduate forward Summer Hemphill deliver a slick pass to setWoolley up for a layup while junior guard Dominique Camp spotted a triple to give UB a 41-29 lead and force an Akron timeout.
Nearing the end of the quarter, the Bulls held the Zips to 1-of-10 shooting down the stretch to land a 55-37 lead by the third quarter buzzer.
Buckets by Adeyeye and Fair brought UB up to an 8-0 run, which was extended to 16-2 with shots from Woolley, Adeyeye and senior guard Jazmine Young to bring the score up to 75-41 with just over five minutes left on the clock.
Freshman forward Saniaa Wilson sealed UB’s impressive win with a free throw and layup in the final minutes of gameplay, which ended with a wipeout score of 82-43.
UB looked unstoppable in a near flawless performance, as both the offense and defense were in sync from the opening tip.
The Bulls will return to action Sunday for the MAC finals against Ball State (20-11, 11-8 MAC). Tip-off is set for 11 a.m at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Sophie McNally is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophie McNally is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. She is a history major studying abroad for a year from Newcastle University in the UK. In her spare time, she can be found blasting The 1975 or Taylor Swift and rowing on a random river at 5 a.m.