The Hofstra Pride women’s basketball team fell to the University at Buffalo on Sunday by a score of 74-50. The game was a stark contrast to the Pride’s last outing against the Bulls in 2015, when Hofstra won in a 79-36 rout.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed in us coming up here and not getting a win against a very good team,” said Hofstra Pride head coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey.
Hofstra struggled to score against Buffalo’s frenetic, fast-paced offense and smothering defense.
The Bulls played with a high level of intensity and a nose for the basketball.
Buffalo was constantly intercepting passes, forcing bad decisions from Pride players and charging down the court after turnovers for easy buckets. Hofstra ended the game with 26 turnovers.
“I thought our preparation for the game was well, I think we tried to handle the tempo,” Kilburn-Steveskey said. “We came out and handled the rebounding battle with them. We knew some of the pieces and we knew they were going to try to double down.”
Ashunae Durant was held in check for the majority of the contest.
The junior forward scored just six points and collected 11 rebounds, putting a halt to her four-game double-double streak.
While Durant was still a force on the boards, the Bulls’ stingy interior defense prevented her from getting a lot of touches inside. Many attempted passes in the post resulted in turnovers. Though point guard Krystal Luciano was guilty of six of those turnovers, she led the team with 13 points.
A trio of players who all scored in double figures led Buffalo. Stephanie Reid (16), JoAnna Smith (16) and Cassie Oursler (14) all tallied more points than any Pride player.
Reid was also a stalwart on defense. The junior guard from Australia played tight, relentless defense and ended the game with a trio of steals. She played 35 minutes and never seemed to slow down or lose energy.
Smith – the team’s leader in scoring average with around 12 points per contest – was held in check for the first half with just three points. Smith came on strong in the second half with a pair of three-pointers and a healthy number of free throw attempts to propel her team to victory.
Buffalo moves to 7-0 with the win, while Hofstra falls to 4-3 on the season. The Pride will look to rebound against the University of Massachusetts on Wednesday, with tip off at 7 p.m. from the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex.
“You go back to the drawing board,” Kilburn-Steveskey said. “We’ve got two games next week before finals. I keep saying this is our dress rehearsal [for conference play]. Every game is trying to prepare us for what we’re getting ready for.”