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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Women’s basketball falls short to Toledo despite record-breaking performance from Watson

The Bulls lose in a second consecutive nail-biter to the Rockets

<p>Chellia Watson would finish with 47 of the team’s 63 points. It was the most scored in a game by any player, man or woman, in school history. &nbsp;</p>

Chellia Watson would finish with 47 of the team’s 63 points. It was the most scored in a game by any player, man or woman, in school history.  

Women’s basketball (10-8, 4-4 MAC) narrowly lost to the Toledo Rockets (14-4, 7-1 MAC) 63-67 on Saturday night, despite a record-breaking performance by UB senior guard Chiella Watson, who scored 47 points and reached 1,000 career points. 

The Bulls entered Saturday night’s game with plenty of motivation. The Rockets not only sit ahead of UB in the conference standings, but Toledo eliminated them from the playoffs last season before going on to win the MAC.

UB got off to a slow start, beginning the game 1-9 from the field. The Rockets took advantage of the inside game, allowing them to get to the foul line. Despite a layup and foul from freshman guard Kirsten Lewis-Williams, the Bulls would trail 13-7 after the first quarter.

The Rockets continued to extend their lead off of Bulls misses, capitalizing in transition to go on a 6-0 run to start the second quarter.

That’s when Watson really got into the game, scoring on back to back possessions with an aggressive play style. She scored  her 1,000th career point at the foul line, bringing the Bulls within 9 points of the lead. At halftime the Bulls would trail 37-25.

The Bulls came into the third quarter hot, going on a 9-0 run to pull within three. A pair of triples from Watson and some tough defense allowed the Bulls to take the lead 43-42 at the end of the third.

Neither team could establish dominance through much of the fourth quarter until the Rockets pulled ahead 47-51 with a layup through contact from senior forward Sammi Mikonowicz. But just as it seemed like the game could be slipping away from the Bulls, Watson scored 7 unanswered points to tie the game at 63 with 1:24 remaining. After a go ahead basket by the Rockets with 48 seconds left, the Bulls watched their chance at redemption slip away. 

The Rockets advanced to 7-1 and second place in the conference, while the Bulls dropped to 4-4 and fifth place in conference play. 

Despite the loss, the night was overshadowed by Watson’s outstanding performance. She would finish with 47 of the team’s 63 points, along with five rebounds and three assists. It was the most scored in a game by any player, man or woman, in school history. She also broke the Savage arena record, previously set by Ron Harper with 45 points in 1985, along with Caitlin Clark’s record for the most points in a D1 game this season.

The Bulls will be on the road again as they will travel to Athens, Ohio to take on Ohio University (7-11, 4-4 MAC) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night. The game can be streamed on ESPN+. 

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

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