Saturday, December 14th, 2019

Buffalo looks to rebound at Stanford, Cardinal seek to remain undefeated

Published on November 24, 2019

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  • Buffalo (4-1) at No. 3 Stanford (4-0)
  • 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET
  • Live Stream
  • Audio: TuneIn
  • Series: 1-0 Stanford

STANFORD, Calif. – The first time the Buffalo Bulls and Stanford met, it was a cold December day in Western New York but a warm reception inside for the coach of the visiting team. Last season Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer received cheers from the crowd as it was a homecoming of sorts for her with over 200 students from her high school alma mater (Buffalo Seminary) in attendance.

UB head coach Felisha Legette-Jack, also a native New Yorker, was the catalyst in getting the teams to play each other in consecutive years. Initially, the teams were supposed to play a contest in Canada, but plans fell through.

“Well, I asked [Tara VanDerveer] if she would mind coming to Buffalo and then we’ll come back to play her here,” Legette-Jack said. “Tara is one of those coaches that can go anywhere and will play a young coach and give them an opportunity, and at least we can do is try to come back and do the same thing. We tried to make it make sense to have two games out here.”

Thursday night, the Bulls played at nearby San Jose State, a hard-fought contest that the hometown Spartans won 95-88. After an intense practice on Friday, Buffalo took some time to see the sites around the Bay Area. For the game against Stanford, Legette-Jack says her team has to make Stanford “prove that they can hit a three.” She also indicated that her team needs to limit second-chances for the opposition: “Defense is also key.”

“I think we’re going to confuse them defensively because we’re going to put different things out there,” she continued, hoping for a different outcome than last December’s 62-55 Stanford victory.

Legette-Jack is already familiar with Cardinal junior guard Kiana Williams. The two traveled with USA Basketball’s Pan American Games team this summer with Legette-Jack as an assistant coach. This season, Williams is averaging 10.5 points per game and 3.75 assists per contest. Sophomore guard Lexie Hull leads the Cardinal at 16.5 points per game along with 5.3 rebounds per outing. On the boards, freshman forward Ashten Prechtel averages 6.8 per contest along with 8.8 points per game.

Buffalo comes into Maples with a pair of dynamic guards who are exciting to watch: freshman Dyaisha Fair (26.4 points per game) and senior Theresa Onwuka (22.0 points per game). Fair currently is second the nation in scoring. Against San Jose State, Fair led the way with a game-high 28 points, including a career-high eight threes, to go along with three rebounds and seven assists. Onwuka added her first double-double of the season with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists.

While Buffalo has a wealth of talent, the team is the youngest in the nation and includes a whopping 11 underclassmen. Senior forward Summer Hemphill has not seen any action so far this season as she rehabs from a leg injury. Legette-Jack looks forward to her return. In the meantime, Hemphill continues to serve as a leader for the incredibly young team. Experience was indeed a factor in the team’s loss to San Jose State Thursday night as the Spartans’ veterans helped them come out on top in the final quarter against the Bulls.

Team Notes

  • Dyaisha Fair became the first Buffalo freshman to score 30+ points in a game since 2000, with 31 points in a win at Niagara.
  • The Bulls became the first MAC women’s team to win an NCAA Tournament game in back-to-back years since the 1991-1992 seasons.
  • Fair was named MAC East Player of the Week for the first time in her UB career on Nov. 19 after averaging 24.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists and 3.0 steals on the week.
  • Stanford is ninth in the country in scoring offense, averaging 88.8 points per game, and ninth in field goal percentage, shooting 50.4 percent (139-of-276).
  • Defensively, the Cardinal is 26th in scoring defense (51.0), but fifth in field goal percentage defense (.265).
  • Stanford and Baylor are the only two teams in the country in the top 10 in both field goal percentage and field goal percentage defense.
  • Stanford is also 27th nationally in assists per game (18.0), 21st in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.44), 14th in rebounds per game (48.75), 20th in 3-point field goals per game (9.0) and 22nd in 3-point field goal percentage (.400).

 

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