Women's basketball defeats Buffalo in close game

“After losing to the first ranked Toledo Rockets (20-5, MAC 10-2) last Wednesday night the Zips women’s basketball team (15-10, MAC 9-3) took on the Buffalo Bulls (7-18, MAC 3-9) and came out with a thrilling 63-57 win. We won. This time of the year, it’s about winning and surviving.”

After losing to the first ranked Toledo Rockets (20-5, MAC 10-2) last Wednesday night the Zips women’s basketball team (15-10, MAC 9-3) took on the Buffalo Bulls (7-18, MAC 3-9) and came out with a thrilling 63-57 win.

We won. This time of the year, it’s about winning and surviving. We didn’t play one of our best games, and it wasn’t one of our best efforts, Kest said.

The Zips traveled to New York this weekend and got their first win in Alumina Arena since the 2004 season.

The Bulls Kourtney Brown had the first basket of the game which put the Bulls out 2-0. Kyle Baumgartner would then tied the game up 2-2 with a layup, which led to a heated half.

At one point the Zips did fall behind the Bulls 27-21, but went on a 7-0 run to tie the game up at 27.

Going into the half the Zips trailed to the Bulls 31-30, and got 16 of their points in the paint.

The Bulls led the Zips by seven in the second half with only six minutes and 48 seconds left in regulation. The Zips went on an 11-2 run as small forward Kara Murphy and shooting guard Taylor Ruper hit three pointers to give the Zips an advantage for a comeback.

Kyle Baumgartner ended the game leading the offensive attack for the Zips putting in a game high of 19 points, while Murphy was second on the team in scoring with 12 points.

With only seconds left ticking on the clock, the Bulls fouled point guard Ayla Guzzardo. She made both of her free throws, sealing the win for the Zips.

The Zips remain the top defensive team in the MAC by not letting the Bulls score in the last three minutes and 51 seconds of regulation.

The defense has been solid, when we haven’t played good defense we lost those three [MAC] games, Kest said.

Both teams found success in the paint with 28 points apiece. Twelve of Akron’s points came off the bench.

Power forward Jolene Tamboue got eight rebounds, leading the defensive attack for the Zips.

Tamboue, Baumgartner, and Guzzardo had two steals apiece.

The Zips found success shooting the ball, making 26 of their 58 shots, a 44.8% average.

The Bulls’ Kourtney Brown recorded a double-double against the Zips with 13 rebounds and 17 points.

This is only the second time the Zips have won four MAC games on the road. The last time was in the 1999-2000 season.

The Zips’ nine wins in league play this season represent the second-highest total in school history.

With the loss to Toledo on Wednesday night, the Zips gave up their second seed in MAC eastern division to the Kent State Golden Flashes (16-8). The Zips remain third in the division behind Bowling Green State Falcons (20-6) and Kent State.

The next time the Zips will return home to James A. Rhodes arena will be Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. The Zips will be hosting the pink zone game to benefit breast cancer awareness.