BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — The University at Buffalo women's basketball team's second half rally came up short as the Bulls fell to Bowling Green 78-72 at the Stroh Center on Wednesday night. With the loss, UB falls to 16-6 on the year, 8-3 in league play.
Buffalo, who trailed by as many as 20 points, including 11 at the half, mounted a strong second half comeback to cut the Bowling Green lead to one point with two minutes to play, but the rally fell short.
Dillard led the Bulls with 26 points and six assists. Also scoring in double figures were Autumn Jones who finished with a season-high 17 points and three steals and Summer Hemphill, who added her eighth double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
The Falcons were in a groove early, hitting their first four shots of the contest to open the game on a 9-2 run and would continue that hot pace as BG shot 61.5% from the floor in the opening quarter, while the Bulls were just 2-of-10 from the floor to start and 5-of-16 on the quarter. Dillard sat the last three and a half minutes of the quarter with two fouls.
Bowling Green would pick up right where they left off, opening the second quarter on 10-0 run to take 20 point lead, 32-12, with 6:20 to play. The Bulls would get their first field goal of the quarter on a Dillard three at the 5:57 mark. UB would then rattle off a 7-0 run heading into the media timeout to cut the lead to 32-19. Jones would add five straight points on the other side of the timeout to cap a 12-0 run to cut the BG lead to 32-24. Later, a Dillard and-one and a steal and lay in by Finess Dickson cut the lead back to single digits once again but a Falcons three on the final possession of the half gave BG a 42-31 lead at the break. The 11 point halftime deficit was the largest faced by the Bulls at the break this season. The Falcons shot 60.9% from the field in the first half, including 22 points in the paint.
It was a back and forth affair start to the third with the two teams trading baskets as BG maintained a double-digit lead, 54-41, at the media time out. Spot up three's by Jones and Dillard cut the BG lead to single digits but the Falcons respond with an 8-0 run to go up 64-57 with 1:20 to play. UB would close on a mini 4-0 run to make it 64-51 through three quarters of play.
The Bulls would continue to attack to begin the fourth, going on an 8-0 run to start the quarter and extend the overall run to 12-0 over a span of five and a half minutes. The Falcons would have an answer, hitting back-to-back triples to take a 72-61 lead, but the Bulls wouldn't go down without a fight as Hemphill and Dillard led UB on a 10-0 run of their own in a span of two plus minutes to cut the lead to one with 2:06 to play but that would be as close as they would get as UB went just 1-for-7 from the floor to close the game.
The Falcons outshot the Bulls from the floor and from beyond the arc and won the rebounding battle 35-28. Buffalo limited Bowling Green to just ten points in the paint in the second half and scored 27 points off of 28 BG turnovers, while winning the fast break category 18-13.
The Bulls return home to host Central Michigan on Saturday, February 16, at 2 p.m.