Women's Basketball Drops 98-71 Decision at Miami
Miami forced the Bulls into eight turnovers on their first 10 possessions of the game, but the Bulls were somehow able to keep things close early on. Sophomore Lauren Burd (York, PA/Central York) provided a little spark off the bench with three buckets in just over three minutes of play, and the Bulls found themselves down by just six points, 34-28, with 4:17 remaining in the half. The RedHawks, however, then embarked on a 6-0 run with a three-pointer by Nicki Motto upping their lead to 12, 40-28, with 2:29 on the clock. The RedHawks held that 12-point lead until halftime, 46-34.
The RedHawks then opened the second half with a 15-2 run to outdistance themselves from the Bulls. Miami shot 56.7 percent from the floor in the second half (17-for-30) and led by as many as 29 points down the stretch.
The RedHawks finished the game with a 45.1 shooting percentage from the floor (32-for-71), and they scored 32 points from the foul line in the game on 37 shots. Merrill led the way in the first half with 15 of her game-high 20 points while Colleen Day picked things up in the second half, scoring 16 of her 18 points in the final 20 minutes of play. Amanda Jackson and Kim Lancaster added 16 and 15 points, respectively, and Jackson also had six steals. The RedHawks scored 25 points off of 21 Buffalo turnovers, including 21 points off of 16 turnovers in the first half.
The Bulls were led by seniors Kim Kilpela (West Bloomfield, MI/West Bloomfield) and Jessica Kochendorfer (Allen, MI/Quincy). Kilpela had a team-high 19 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots, while Kochendorfer finished with 17 points, a game-high nine rebounds and two blocks. With her two blocks, Kochendorfer became Buffalo's all-time leader with 160 career blocks, surpassing Nicole Blakeslee (1994-98) who had held the record with 159. The Bulls shot 44.4 percent from the floor in the game (28-for-63) and they were outrebounded by a 45-33 margin.
"I was pleased with our offensive performance today, but we didn't play defense the way we needed to," said Buffalo head coach Cheryl Dozier. "Miami is a very athletic team with a lot of leadership and a lot of offensive weapons. I can't say enough about Cindi Merrill - she's just an all-around player. They wore us down and we got tired and they knocked down their free throws. We have to go back to the drawing board and finish the regular season strong against Ohio before going into the MAC Tournament."
The Bulls close out the regular season at home on Tuesday, March 2 with a 7 pm contest
against the Ohio Bobcats. The final games of the regular season will determine the Bulls' first-round
opponent for the 2004 Kraft MAC Tournament, which begins on Saturday, March 6.
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