Despite strong first half, UB falls to Tennessee

Regardless of sturdy first half, UB falls to Tennessee

Posted on

KNOXVILLE (MB) – All through the primary three quarters, it seemed like UB ladies’s basketball may probably pull off an enormous upset of No. 4 Tennessee, however the Vols pulled away within the fourth, beating the Bulls, 80-67 within the NCAA match on Saturday.

“We weren’t gonna relent and neither was Tennessee and the combat was super all the way in which till the final seven to eight minutes within the sport and on the finish of the day that measurement actually wore us down just a little bit,” UB head coach Felisha Legette-Jack stated after the sport.

This was UB’s fourth journey to the large dance in six years, and within the earlier two appearances in 2018 and 2019, the Bulls gained a minimum of a sport. It was a pattern they could not preserve in Knoxville.

“We have gone via a variety of issues as a group however we simply knew we needed to inform our story and to inform our story we wanted to win the MAC championship, we wanted to get right here. We did not get the consequence we needed right now however we grew lots and simply so proud and glad to be part of this group,” UB freshman Georgia Woolley stated after the sport.

Outdoors of the primary three minutes of the sport, UB seemed sturdy and performed the Vols’ robust, taking a 17-15 lead after the primary quarter, and solely trailed 32-30 at halftime.

It is solely pure the Bulls would have some nerves to shake off enjoying on such an enormous stage, and that is in all probability what we noticed to start out the sport, because the Vols jumped out to an 8-0 lead. The Bulls had alternatives to attain up till that time, however photographs simply weren’t falling. UB Coach Felisha Legette-Jack took a timeout with seven minutes left within the first quarter, precisely what was wanted to settle the Bulls down.

After that, the Bulls held Tennessee with no bucket for over 4 minutes and acquired proper again within the sport with a 7-0 run of their very own, began by a three-pointer from MAC MVP and UB’s all-time main scorer, Dyaisha Honest .

When evaluating UB to Tennessee, the large factor that jumps out is the Vols’ measurement. That is even what Honest stated the day earlier than the sport when she requested what she notices immediately when scouting their opponent. Tennessee’s peak and size was a lot larger than the Bulls, however UB did not let that hinder their play. As a substitute, they performed very aggressive down low, particularly within the first quarter.

Georgia Wooley was additionally capable of get her fingers on the ball for a pair of steals within the first half and took it the opposite approach for a bucket. Whilst a freshman, Woolley proved the second was n’t too huge for her enjoying in her first NCAA match sport. She additionally had a buzzer-beating three-pointer to finish the primary quarter to present the Bulls a two-point lead.

The place the Bulls actually thrived on this one was enjoying to their strengths — their pace and skill — to attain in transition. Within the second quarter, Honest dished it to Dominique Camp on the quick break to make it a 26-25 UB lead.

With two seconds left within the first half, Elea Gaba picked up her third foul and Tennessee’s Jordan Walker made a free throw to present the Vols a two-point lead at halftime.

Issues began out effectively for the Bulls within the third quarter, as a Summer season Hemphill layup made it a 34-34 sport, however the Vols went on a 6-0 run to make it 40-34. However even within the third, when Tennessee went on a couple of runs of its personal, the Bulls had been nonetheless very a lot within the sport. The Bulls discovered themselves down by six, 4 instances within the third quarter, and down by seven twice. UB trailed 57-51 heading into the fourth quarter.

And that is the place the wheels began to fall off and put issues out of attain for UB. Tennessee’s Rae Burrell made a three-pointer with 8:41 left within the sport, because the Bulls’ trailed by 10, their largest deficit of the sport as much as that time. UB could not get photographs to fall, made errors and the Vols took benefit of their free throw alternatives.

“I imply as I stated within the interview earlier than the sport, I do know this group can compete with any group within the nation and we confirmed that,” Honest stated.

Honest ended with a game-high 25 factors. Woolley additionally resulted in double figures, with 15 factors, and added seven steals.

“Dyaisha Honest, I am going to inform ya, there’s a variety of nice expertise on that flooring however I am going to put Dyaisha Honest towards anyone within the nation and I imply that with a thought course of. She is a particular participant,” Legette-Jack stated.

This marked the ultimate sport in a UB uniform for senior captains Summer season Hemphill and Adebola Adeyeye. This is also the final sport for Felisha Legette-Jack as the top coach of the Bulls, as her success her with this program may, and possibly will, result in larger alternatives.

The largest one which jumps out and is sensible is Legette-Jack taking on the Syracuse ladies’s basketball program, her alma mater. In November, she grew to become the primary participant in Syracuse ladies’s basketball historical past to have her jersey retired.

“That is our group proper right here and we’re completely centered on Buffalo. And we’re gonna get via this season with our group right here,” Legette-Jack stated after the sport.

“I informed them it’s going to by no means be a dialog about another faculty till we end the job right here and we’re nonetheless not completed. We have not celebrated right here but and so I am right here, I am with Buffalo and Buffalo’s my job. And I work for Mark Alnutt [UB athletic director] and President Tripathi is my President and that is all we will speak about right now.”

Heather Prusak is a sports activities reporter who joined the Minus Better group in 2020. See extra of her work right here.