BUFFALO, NY – Junior center Cassie Oursler finished off a layup and free throw to lead the University at Buffalo women's basketball team (4-0, 0-0 MAC) to a come-from-behind 71-69 victory over Duquesne on Tuesday afternoon at A.J. Palumbo Center. Oursler's bucket with three seconds remaining improved UB to 4-0 on the year, marking the second straight season that the Bulls started off 4-0.
After the Dukes tied the game, 64-64, Stephanie Reid made an acrobatic layup and JoAnna Smith notched a steal and jumper on the fast break to extend UB's lead to four, 68-64. Duquesne then made the score 68-67 in favor of the Bulls, and UB took a five second call on the inbound pass which allowed the Dukes netted a pair of free throws to take the 69-68 lead with 11 seconds remaining. Cassie Oursler then made the play of the game as she took a great feed from JoAnna Smith and finished the game-winning layup and free throw to give UB the 71-69 edge. On the ensuing inbounds play by the Dukes, the Buffalo defense forced another turnover to seal the win.
Duquesne opened the scoring with back-to-back jumpers before JoAnna Smith was able to drill a three to make the score 4-3 in favor of the Dukes. Cassie Oursler was then able to drain her first career three-pointer to tie the game, 6-6. Theresa Onwuka had a pair of layups and then Courtney Wilkins drilled a three to tie the game, 14-14. The Dukes were able to end the quarter on a 6-0 run to take the 20-14 edge after 10 minutes of play.
The second quarter was a back-and-forth affair as the Dukes opened the quarter with a layup to take the eight point lead but Courtney Wilkins responded with a quick three-pointer to make the score 22-17 in favor of Duquesne. After a Duquesne three, Stephanie Reid made a fast break layup and assisted a Gabi Bade three to bring UB within three. After the Dukes extended their lead out to six, 33-27, Mariah Suchan made a nice layup and Wilkins finished off the scoring with two free throws as the Bulls entered the half trailing 35-32.
After the Dukes opened the third with a triple, the two teams went back-and-forth before the Bulls used their defense to lead to offense. UB went on a 6-0 run to tie the game, 44-44, as Cassie Oursler, Katherine Ups and Summer Hemphill each netted layups. After a Stephanie Reid layup gave UB their first lead of the game, 48-46, the Dukes finished the quarter on a 6-0 run to take the 52-48 lead after three quarters.
Entering the fourth trailing by four, Gabi Bade made a jumper and Mariah Suchan finished off a layup after a nice feed from Bade to tie the game, 54-54. The Dukes were able to race out to a 62-57 edge midway through the final quarter but UB went on a quick 7-0 run to take the two point lead, 66-64, as JoAnna Smith and Stephanie Reid drilled back-to-back three-pointers. The Bulls held on down the stretch as they earned their first road win of the season.
Buffalo was led offensively by Stephanie Reid who netted a season-high 15 points, seven assists, three rebounds and two steals. With the seven helpers, Reid moved into a tie for 12th place on the Bulls all-time assists charts with 261 career assists. Senior JoAnna Smith finished with 11 points, six rebounds and four assists while Cassie Oursler netted the game-winner and finished with 11 points and three rebounds over 17 minutes of action and Courtney Wilkins came off the bench and netted nine big points in the win. Making her second straight start, Mariah Suchan finished with eight points and five boards across 22 minutes of action.
For the game, Buffalo continued to win the battle of the benches as they netted 24 points compared to just 10 bench points by Duquesne. UB also continued to dominate the fast break scoring as they scored 11 fast break points and improved to 4-0 on the year when winning the fast break category. The Bulls won the rebounding battle for the fourth straight game as they grabbed 17 offensive boards that turned into 12 second chance points in the win.
The Bulls will return to Alumni Arena on Saturday afternoon as they welcome the Sacred Heart Pioneers to Buffalo. Tip is set for 2:00 pm on Saturday and will air live on ESPN 3 with Sal Capaccio and Amy Audibert on the call.