Mackenzie Loesing scored a career-high 29 points Wednesday night to help the University at Buffalo women’s basketball team to an 87-77 triumph over St. Francis (Pa.) before 1,342 at Alumni Arena.
The Bulls, who won at Pittsburgh in their last start on Sunday, bolted to a 9-0 lead and had a 19-3 advantage with 11:42 left in the opening half. Alexus Malone scored eight of UB’s points during the opening blitz and finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The Bulls, winners of three straight, led by 10 at the break (41-31) as they made the most of their free-throw attempts by canning 9 of 11 shots from the line. Loesing made her only two free throws and drained 5 of 12 from the floor during the opening 20 minutes.
Loesing, a sophomore whose previous career-high of 25 points was set during last week’s win over Canisius, had a hot hand in the second half – making 4 of 5 from the floor and sinking 9 of 15 from the line.
Nine of the 10 Bulls who saw playing time scored in this one. Christa Baccas had 11 points in the win. UB shot 50 percent from the floor (31 for 62) despite making only 2 of 13 from beyond the arc.
The Bulls’ defense forced St. Francis’ top scorer, Alli Williams, into a terrible shooting night. She made just 6 of 23 shots en route to 16 points. Earlier this season, Williams put up 40 points against East Tennessee State and also had a 30-point effort versus Colgate.
UB returns to action Saturday with a non-conference road game against Siena.
In the Memorial Athletic & Convocation Center in Kent, Ohio, Kent State crushed Niagara, 69-46.
The Golden Flashes (3-5) turned a close game into a rout during the final 11:18 of the first half. Niagara (1-5) trailed 14-13 after a Chanel Johnson jumper. The Purple Eagles missed their next nine shots, however, and turned the ball over twice. When Sam Lapszynski scored with 4:21 left in the half, that made the score 35-15 Kent State. The Flashes led, 40-15 at the break.
Johnson had 15 points and 12 boards for NU, which hosts Robert Morris at 2 p.m. Saturday.