Friday's Women's Basketball Results
Buffalo 61, Oakland 59
Akron 78, Bryant 56
Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
ROCHESTER, MI – Freshman Rachael Gregory broke a 59-59 tie with 1.7 seconds left on Friday night, as head coach Felisha Legette-Jack picked up her first win as UB head coach, defeating Oakland, 61-59 at the Athletics Center O'Rena. The Bulls improve to 1-2 on the year.
The Bulls took a six-point lead into the half, the first time this season that Buffalo has led after 20 minutes. However, the story was the second half where Buffalo got out to a 9-point lead following a three-pointer from Nicki Hopkins with 13:11 remaining in the half. The Golden Grizzlies came back and went on to take a two-point lead on two different occasions, but Oakland left points at the free throw line late.
Trailing 57-55 with 2:52 left, the Bulls got four straight points from redshirt sophomore Kristen Sharkey, who had a career-high 22 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Sharkey put the Bulls ahead 59-57, but with 14 seconds left Oakland tied it up following a layup from Elena Popkey. Following a timeout, UB dribbled the ball upcourt and put the ball in the hands of Gregory, who drove the lane and put up the easy two, giving UB the victory.
"I am just so happy for this team to be able to get the win tonight," said Legette-Jack. "We got a lot of contributions tonight and we are going to need everyone to join us in this journey. We will enjoy this tonight and then get ready for Sunday."
Sharkey went 7-of-15 from the floor, but it was her perfect night at the free throw line that led the Bulls to victory. Sophomore Sloane Walton had a career night, hitting three 3-pointers for nine points. Despite fouling out in the second half, Christa Baccas added six points and career highs of 15 rebounds and six blocked shots. Hopkins added six points off the bench, while Margeaux Gupilan had five points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Oakland, which lost for the first time this season, was led by 16 points from Pokey, who added eight rebounds. Elizabeth Hamlet and Annemarie Hamlet each finished with 12 points.
The Bulls return to action on Sunday when they play at Wright State. Tip off is at 3:00 pm.
Akron 78, Bryant 56
AKRON, Ohio – Rachel Tecca had 27 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Akron women's basketball team to 78-56 victory over Bryant on Friday night at Rhodes Arena. The Zips have started a season 3-0 for the first time since the program's inception in 1974-75.
Tecca, who before the contest was presented a game ball to commemorate the scoring of her 1000th career point in the Zips' win at Tennessee Tech on Tuesday, finished three points shy of tying her single-game career high and notched her second double-double of the week with 10 rebounds. She shot 10-of-13 from the field and made 7-of-10 attempts from the free throw line in 20 minutes.
Hanna Luburgh joined Tecca in double figures, with 16 points and eight rebounds. She made 6-of-14 field goals and 4-of-6 tries from the charity stripe. Seven of her rebounds were off the defensive glass.
Point guard Kacie Cassell dished out seven assists on the night, which was enough for her to break into the top-10 in program history for career assists. She now has 234 early in her third season of play.
Bryant (0-3) never threatened and UA led by 35 points on three occasions down the stretch, after holding a 41-20 margin at the half. The Bulldogs used a 10-0 run with under four minutes to play to pull to with 74-47 with 2:30 left.
Akron shot 39.4 percent (28-of-71) from the floor for the game, held a 47-45 edge on the boards and had 16 turnovers compared to Bryant's 27. The Zips were also credited with 14 steals. The Bulldogs made 34.4 percent (21-of-61) of their shot attempts.
Akron jumped out to a 16-0 lead with 15:37 on the clock. Luburgh and Tecca accounted for seven and six points, respectively, in the opening spurt. Bryant cut the margin to 24-13 at 9:10 thanks to a 3-pointer by Katie Whittington, but was unable to score again until 4:43. The Zips took a 36-13 lead, their biggest advantage of the half, when Anita Brown converted a pair of attempts from the line at the 4:56 mark.
Tecca finished the first half with 19 points on the strength of an 8-for-10 shooting performance from the field, had six rebounds and two assists. Luburgh had 11 points and five boards in the opening stanza when the Zips shot 41.5 percent (17-of-41) from the floor and had seven steals.
The Zips return to action on Sunday when they visit St. Francis (Pa.) (2-0) for a 2 p.m. ET contest.