Saturday's Women's Basketball Result
Akron 75, Buffalo 57
Courtesy of Akron Sports Information
Akron 75, Buffalo 57
AKRON, Ohio -- Kacie Cassell dished out 10 assists with only a single turnover in 37 minutes on the court, helping Akron's other four starters to score in double figures as the Zips overpowered MAC East leader Buffalo, 75-57, Saturday afternoon at James A. Rhodes Arena.
The 10 assists were just what Cassell needed to break UA's single-season record, surpassing Abby Hoy (1998-99). The junior now has 157 assists on the year and eight regular season games left to play.
Due in large part to Cassell's playmaking, Akron (14-7, 5-3 MAC) enjoyed a balanced scoring attack from its other four starters with Sina King leading the way with 20 points. Rachel Tecca picked up 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field to go along with nine rebounds.
Hanna Luburgh and Taylor Ruper threw in 15 points apiece, as Ruper found her stroke from long range draining five 3-pointers.
Buffalo (7-4, 5-3 MAC) was guided by Kristen Sharkey's 14 points.
Akron quickly built a 12-point lead early in the first half, connecting on five 3-pointers, including its first four in a row, in the first 10 minutes while holding Buffalo scoreless on the other end for a four-minute span.
The Bulls would open the floodgates after that, countering with a 13-2 run that suddenly made it a one-point game at 23-22, still to Akron's advantage at the 6:25 mark.
The Zips pulled away by six points after another Ruper triple with just over three minutes left in the half, but Buffalo continued to threaten. UB's Christa Baccas layed it in for two and tied the score at 34 with just 33 ticks on the clock, giving Akron the chance for the last shot of the half.
Cassell ran the clock down to single digits before taking matters into her own hands, draining a three from the right wing as time expired to give UA a 37-34 lead heading into the locker room.
What started out as a frantic second half for both teams began to calm down around the 15:00 mark when a King layup put the Zips up by three at 45-42. Slowly but surely, the Zips grew their lead by methodically breaking down Buffalo's defense in the half court set and executing effective shot selection.
Another Ruper 3-pointer, followed by a 2-for-2 showing from Luburgh at the charity stripe made it a 12-point differential at 60-48 with 5:10 remaining, and Buffalo was unable to hold out any longer as the Zips rode the momentum through to the end of the game.
UA outscored UB by 15 in the second period, holding the Bulls to 25 percent shooting from the field and just eight field goals. Akron also out-rebounded its opponent for the fourth straight game, and limited itself to nine turnovers.
The Zips will close out their homestand Wednesday, Feb. 6, when they play host to Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m.