Buffalo scored the first nine points of Friday night’s season opener against the Binghamton women’s basketball team, and continued to pour it on in its 65-47 victory at the Events Center.
“I think we had a tough first half and we didn’t come out playing as aggressive as I would have liked to and weren’t knocking shots down,” head coach Nicole Scholl said. “I think this is definitely a team that we can play with and we should have played with and we just didn’t produce the result we were hoping for tonight.
The Bearcats (0-1) tried to implement their new half court strategy, looking to feed the ball to their scorers, junior Sherae Swinson and sophomore Morgan Murphy, early and often.
Buffalo (1-0), however, planned perfectly for BU’s bigs, utilizing a matchup zone defense to clamp down on the forwards whenever they got the ball down low.
“They were crowding us in the paint,” Swinson said.
“It’s a good zone, it’s a tough zone,” Scholl said. “Really for Sherae and Morgan, we need them to go. As our primary post players on the inside, they weren’t being aggressive right away in the first half. But Morgan’s still young and we’re asking a lot from her. And I’m challenging Sherae to be more aggressive and to be more of that go-to person that I think she can be.”
After Buffalo’s 9-0 to start the game, BU got to within 12-6 before the Bulls broke down Binghamton’s defense over the next five minutes, scoring 11 consecutive points to build a 23-6 lead.
Mackenzie Loesing, who scored a game-high 16 points, and Margeaux Gupilan, who finished with 15, combined for 17 first-half points to lead Buffalo into the break up 36-19
After Buffalo extended its lead to 42-21 two minutes into the second, Binghamton began to show some signs of life. The Bearcats pulled to within 15 with 8:04 left on a jumper by sophomore guard Kadance Newry. But the Bulls proceeded to go on a 12-2 run over the next 3:51 to put the game on ice.
“We just have to practice harder and come out aggressive in games,” Swinson said. “Because we can see that we played well in the second half but just the way we start games will depend on if we get a win or not.”
Swinson posted a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 12 boards, while Murphy and sophomore Kim Albrecht each added seven points. Freshman forward Kristin Ross contributed nine points in her collegiate debut.
The Bearcats, who lost their first eight games last season, are hoping to turn things around quickly. The key, according to Scholl, is defense.
“I think just for us, consistency of our defense and coming out strong with that,” she said. “Because we say it time and time again, if your offense isn’t falling, you can always rely on your defense and we didn’t do that in the first half.”
BU will get its chance to even its record when it travels to Lewisberg, Pa. on Nov. 14 to play Bucknell.
Tipoff at Sojka Pavilion is set for 7 p.m.