Courtesy of UBBulls.com
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo women’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a slow start as the Bulls fell to Ball State 76-63 on Wednesday night at Alumni Arena. With the loss the Bulls drop to 11-7 on the year and 8-5 in league play.
Buffalo was led by sophomore guard Dyaisha Fair (Edison Tech) who scored a game-high 22 points to go with three rebounds, six assists and four steals. Freshman Cheyenne McEvans scored in double figures for the third straight game with 13 points to go with six rebounds, three assists and two steals and Elea Gaba and Jazmine Young added 10 points each.
It was a back-and-forth affair to start as the game would be tied 6-6 at the first media timeout. Ball State took their first lead of the game, 8-6, at the 4:27 mark but Casey Valenti-Paea would tie the game on a steal and score. The two teams would trade baskets from there and the Cardinals would lead 14-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Ball State would open the second quarter on a 5-0 run before Hanna Hall knocked down a three from the wing to cut the lead to 19-15 at the 7:58 mark. The Cardinals would then go on 6-1 run to take a 25-16 lead at the media timeout. Ball State would extend their lead to 11 before McEvans ended a four-plus minute UB scoring drought with a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 27-18 at the 2:50 mark. Later, McEvans would continue to attack and pulled the Bulls back within nine but the Cardinals scored on their final two possessions of the half to take a 33-21 lead at the break.
Young got things going for Buffalo to start the third quarter as she converted on an and-one on UB’s first possession. The Cardinals would extend the lead to 14 at the 8:12 mark before an 8-2 UB run, capped by an and-one by Gaba, cut the lead to 41-34 at the media timeout. A pair of free throws by Fair coming out of the break would cut the Ball State lead to five and later Fair would spot up for three to make it 42-39 at the 4:35 mark. The Cardinals would answer with a 7-1 run to take a 51-40 lead at the 2:40 mark and they would lead 58-47 at the end of the third.
After a back-and-forth start to the fourth quarter Ball State would extend their lead to 13 at the 6:38 mark before the Bulls rattled off a 10-0 run, capped by a three from Fair and a pair of driving layups by McEvans, to cut the Cardinals lead to 64-61 at the media timeout. Ball State would take advantage of a two-plus minute UB scoring drought to put together a 5-0 run and take a 69-61 lead at the 2:25 mark. The Bulls would manage to score just two more points the rest of the game and the Cardinals went 4-of-4 from the charity stripe in the final minute to secure the victory.
The Bulls held a narrow 40-36 edge in the paint and scored 24 points off of 20 Cardinals turnovers but Ball State won the battle of the glass 44-38 and scored 20 points in transition.
The two teams will face off for the second straight game as Buffalo travels to Muncie on Saturday for a 1pm tip inside Worthen Arena.