The title defense started in mid-November, but officially begins tonight as the UB Women’s Basketball team faces off against Bowling Green in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
Buffalo is the 7th overall seed, while Bowling Green is 10th. The winner will advance to the MAC Quarterfinals to face off against 2nd seeded Ball State.
Tip-off for tonight's game is set for 5:30 p.m. at Alumni Arena.
History Repeats Itself
Much like their title quest began in March of 2016, UB’s 2017 journey to Cleveland begins the same exact way: hosting Bowling Green.
The Bulls thumped BG 60-44 in last year's opener.
Fun Fact: The Falcons were the last team to win back-to-back MAC Tournament titles when they ran the table in 2010 and again in 2011.
Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Cold
UB and BG split the season series, but it was the Falcons knocking off the Bulls 64-62 on Senior Night just nine days ago.
Joanna Smith, who will go down as one of the greatest in program history, is the lone senior on the squad.
She scored 25 points in that two point loss and fouled out with seconds to play in the game. Still, with Smith not on the floor the Bulls had two chances to tie and missed both as the clock expired.
Buffalo also held an eight point lead heading into the fourth quarter of action back on Feb. 25, but struggled to find a rhythm over the final 10 minutes.
UB went just 1-for-9 from the floor to open the quarter, which saw the Falcons use a 13-2 run to open a 60-55 lead.
It’s Cliché, But True
Defense wins championships, and the Bulls are one of the best defensive units in the MAC.
They’re tied with Ohio in scoring defense, only allowing opponents to score an average of 61.7 points per game. UB averages 68.2.
Buffalo ranked fourth during the regular season in rebounding defense and had the best rebounding margin (+6.1) in the league.
Add on top of a that : A post presence that averages nearly four blocks per game (2nd in MAC), a group that averages more than nine steals per game (4th best) and a overall pressure that forces 17 turnovers per game – when the Bulls are locked in, they're tough to beat especially on home court where they're 12-4 this season.
Re-live The Glory
“Two dribbles, shoot and score.”
That was the message Head Coach Felisha Legette-Jack had for Stephanie Reid in the final timeout of last year’s MAC title game against Central Michigan.
She executed it perfectly. Following their victory, Reid and then senior Karin Moss joined us in the 7 ABC studios to put their own unique spin on the game-winning play.
You can watch it here: Sportscasters for a day: Reid & Moss Breakdown UB's Game Winning Play