Lady Bison Drop Season Opener to Buffalo, 86-63
BUFFALO, NY – The Howard Women's basketball team dropped its season opener to the University at Buffalo, 86-63, on Fri. Nov. 12. HU is back in action on Nov. 14 when it travels to play Vanderbilt beginning at 2 p.m.
"Our defensive execution was not there tonight," said head coach Niki Geckeler. "Not being about to dominate the boards hurt us. We gave them too many second chance opportunities."
Buffalo held a 40-35 edge on the glass over Howard. The Bulls scored 18 points off second chance opportunities, while holding the Lady Bison to just 10 points.
Saadia Doyle finished 10-of-11 from behind the charity stripe and 6-for-18 from the field for 22 points on the night. She also added a game-best 15 rebounds in 37 minutes of action. Tamoria Holmes had 17 points – including a 5-for-7 mark from behind the arc.
As a team, the Lady Bison were held to a 33.9 shooting clip (19-for-56). Howard scored 13 points off 12 Bull miscues. Cheyenne Curley-Payne led the team with a game-best four steals.
Buffalo struck first with a basket by Jessica Fortman within the first minute of regulation. The Lady Bison responded with five unanswered to tie it at 5-5. Howard was silent for the next four-plus minutes until a Doyle jumper ended the silence to make the spread 12-7 at the 12:40 mark. Buffalo proceeded to go on a 14-3 run over a five-minute span to push the margin to 29-15 with just under eight minutes remaining in the stint.
The Lady Bison rattled off 12 straight unanswered – highlighted by two triples from Holmes – to slice into the advantage and bring themselves to within seven, 29-22, by the 5:31 mark.. BU pushed the lead back to as many as 11 (37-26), but a 7-4 run by HU ended the half to make it 38-31 heading into the lockerroom.
The Bulls dominated the second 20 minutes – keeping its double-digit lead and outscoring HU 48-32. The Lady Bison only managed to sink eight baskets, but went 19-for-24 from the line.
For BU, Kourtney Brown had a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds. Brittany Hedderson finished with 19 points. Kisten Sharkey and Ephesia Holmes had 11 and 10 points, respectively.
"Back to the drawing board," said Geckeler. "We just have to keep working hard and continue to learn to play as a team."
HU will play Vanderbilt on Nov. 14. The game is slated for 2 p.m.