BUFFALO, NY (UB SPORTS INFO) – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team (2-0, 0-0 MAC) collected their 12th straight win in the all-time series against the Niagara Purple Eagles on Wednesday night at Alumni Arena by the score of 73-63. Freshman forward Summer Hemphill had a career game for the Bulls as she netted 15 points on 7-for-9 from the floor while also grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out three assists.
The difference in the game was the play of the Buffalo bench as they were able to outscore the Purple Eagles 35-1 for the game. The Bulls saw seven players notch at least 20 minutes of playing time including Mariah Suchan who came off the bench and grabbed 11 rebounds while Gabi Bade played a season-high 31 minutes and tied a career-high with 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting and 4-for-7 from behind the arc. Hemphill was all over the court as she played a career-high 24 minutes and finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals off the UB bench.
After the Purple Eagles raced out to a 6-2 lead early on, the Bulls responded quickly in the first quarter with a 14-4 run to take the 16-10 lead. JoAnna Smith sparked the Buffalo run as she netted eight of the 14 points including drilling back-to-back three pointers to cap the run. After Niagara cut the UB lead to four, Gabi Bade came off the bench and notched back-to-back three's to end the quarter as the Bulls took the 24-15 lead after 10 minutes.
The Purple Eagles opened the second quarter with four straight points before Bade knocked down a three-pointer and made a contested layup in the lane to extend the UB lead out to nine, 31-22. After a nice pass from Brittany Morrison led to an easy layup for Cassie Oursler to give UB the 10-point lead with 3:08 left in the half, the Purple Eagles went on a 10-0 to close out the quarter and tie the game at 37 at halftime.
Niagara started the third quarter on a 6-0 run to take the 43-37 lead before Hemphill hit a jumper and Smith netted back-to-back jumpers to tie the score at 43. After the Purple Eagles took the slim 45-43 lead on a Tiffany Corselli layup, the Bulls went on a quick 12-2 spurt to regain the lead. Hemphill sparked this run by the Bulls as she was able to get out in transition and net seven points before JoAnna Smith capped the run with a three-pointer and a jumper, giving UB the 55-49 lead after three quarters.
The two sides went back-and-forth in the final quarter as the Purple Eagles were able to draw within four points with 1:41 left, 66-62. Bade put an end to any Purple Eagle threat just 12 seconds later as she drilled her career-high fourth three-pointer to extend the UB lead out to seven and the Bulls never looked back. Hemphill finished off the fourth with six points and four rebounds while Suchan came up big on the glass with six rebounds while playing all 10 minutes.
Smith led all UB players with 20 points on 8-for-12 from the floor and 3-for-5 from behind the arc while also grabbing five rebounds and three assists in the win. This marks the 17th time in her UB career she has scored at least 20 points in a game. Cassie Oursler finished off her strong game with 10 points, four rebounds and an assist in 20 minutes of action while point guard Stephanie Reid recorded four points, four rebounds, seven assists and a steal in the win.