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Thursday, September 28, 2023
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Women’s basketball wins MAC Tournament

Dyaisha Fair becomes first player in program history to reach 2,000 career points

Senior forward Adebola Adeyeye (25) high-fives her teammates during a regular season game.
Senior forward Adebola Adeyeye (25) high-fives her teammates during a regular season game.

As the glass flashed red and the final buzzer sounded, junior guard Dyaisha Fair launched the basketball sky-high in triumph. 

The Bulls (25-8, 16-4 MAC) squeaked out a 79-75 victory over Ball State (20-12, 11-8 MAC) Saturday in the Mid-American Championship Game at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland. 

Fair, a Rochester native, was a major reason why.

The win earned Buffalo an automatic spot in the NCAA Tournament, the team’s fourth trip to the big dance in the last six years. 

“It’s really awesome to see the trust level, the fox hole, the oneness … they were sisters,” head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said about the historic win.  

Fair scored 30 points to make Bulls history as the first to amass 2,000 career points, surpassing UB alum Kourtney Brown’s 1,995. 

The Bulls’ third MAC title in six years was made possible by Fair and freshman guard Georgia Woolley, who combined for 59 of the team’s 79 points. 

“Our defense really just made the offense easy for us … easy layups, easy shots,” Woolley said as UB limited Ball State to 40.3% shooting and 35.5% from the three-point line.

Ball State led 8-4 to start before a deep three by Fair cut its lead to one at the first media timeout.

Junior guard Dominique Camp’s steal gave senior forward Adebola Adeyeye a fastbreak bucket to give UB its first lead of the game at 4:14. 

The run extended to 11-2 through a Hemphill jumper, a transition three by Fair and a steal from Woolley, making way for Fair’s bucket to put the Bulls up 20-12 and force a Cardinals timeout. 

The Bulls blazed into the second quarter with a 20-15 advantage, as senior guard Jazmine Young sparked the offense with a quick bucket. Ball State answered with a strong 10-0 run of its own, securing a 28-25 lead at the 7:03 mark. 

“We had each other’s back the entire time, if one person made a mistake the other person stepped up and helped her,” Fair said about the team’s resilience.

Young and Fair’s back-to-back triples set the tone, putting UB back up, 33-28. 

At the end of the half, Buffalo struggled offensively — they were held scoreless for the final 2:15 — but still maintained a 38-37 lead at the break.

A pair of Woolley threes at the start of the third quarter gave UB a 46-42 lead. Equally matched, the two teams suffered scoring droughts for the two minutes after, but Woolley’s baseline pull-up jumper gave the Bulls the five-point edge with 2:49 to go. 

A pair of Hemphill free throws furthered the Bulls’ success before the Cardinals’ next two possessions cut their lead to 53-50 at the end of the third. 

Fair and Woolley dominated the final quarter, scoring all 26 UB fourth-quarter points.

But Ball State’s status as a top three-point shooting team in the MAC shone through as they came back to trail, 73-71, with just 52 seconds on the clock. 

Woolley put Ball State’s chances to bed with an extraordinary pull-up jumper in the paint and a free throw to give UB the final say.

“You don’t ever lose, you just win or you learn,” Legette-Jack said about her team heading into the tournament. 

“I think the message is that we’re coming [for them],” Fair added.

The NCAA Tournament opposition, location and time will be announced during Sunday’s selection show.

Sophie McNally is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at

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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.  



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