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Sunday, April 21, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Women’s basketball outmatches Akron in must-win game

Bulls will play Western Michigan in final regular season game Saturday with a MAC Tournament spot on the line

UB now has a chance to clinch a spot in the MAC Tournament after winning their last two games.
UB now has a chance to clinch a spot in the MAC Tournament after winning their last two games.

Women’s basketball (11-15, 6-11 MAC) pulled off another upset win Wednesday, defeating No. 6-seed Akron (16-12, 7-10 MAC) 64-50. Bulls head coach Becky Burke attributes the team’s recent success to their need of a win in order to stay in the hunt for the Mid-American Conference Tournament.

“They played with a sense of urgency, there’s a lot on the line,” Burke said. “We’ve been playing together and defending at a very high level. It’s inspiring.”

UB never trailed in this affair, leading all 40 minutes of the game. Senior guard Re’Shawna Stone, who has been a vital part of their offense, led the Bulls’ efforts, finishing her night with 20 points and four assists. Another contributor, senior guard Zakiyah Winfield, dropped 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. 

On the defensive side, the Bulls held Akron to just 24 points at the half. Akron’s top scorer was senior forward Molly Neitzel, who ended the night with 14 points. 

“I was impressed with our defense,” Burke said. “That’s what we’ve been searching for all year, to be a team that sits down and holds teams to 50.”

Freshman forward Hattie Ogden was a major contributor toward that defensive effort, grabbing 10 rebounds and recording two steals. 

“Everybody had their moments,” Burke said. “And that’s the beauty of these wins.” 

The Bulls forced 15 turnovers and out-rebounded the Zips, 42-36.

This was a crucial win for Buffalo. After going on a 1-10 losing streak, UB now has a chance to clinch a spot in the MAC Tournament after winning their last two games. The Bulls’ fate rests in their own hands as they prepare for their final regular season matchup against Western Michigan, a fellow competitor for the final spot in the MAC Tournament. A UB win would guarantee the Bulls a spot in the playoffs.

“We’re not putting any pressure on ourselves,” Burke said. “We’re just focusing on the task at hand. [If] you start thinking ahead and putting pressure on yourself, you lose games.”

The Bulls face off against Western Michigan at home on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game can be live-streamed on ESPN 3.

The sports desk can be reached at sports@ubspectrum.com 

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