Women’s basketball earns first conference win of season

the+Falcons+and+the+Redhawks+shake+hands+after+the+Falcons+lose+75-82.

the Falcons and the Redhawks shake hands after the Falcons lose 75-82.

Zane Miller and Zane Miller

The Falcon women’s basketball team defeated the Buffalo Bulls 78-72 at home on Wednesday, the team’s first win against a MAC opponent this season.

“We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs, and we’ve been close so many nights,” head coach Robyn Fralick said. “They keep showing up, and they keep fighting. Tonight we were able to finish the game.”

The first quarter started with the Falcons jumping out to an early advantage. The team outscored Buffalo 22-12 in the first quarter with an early run that allowed them to go up 9-2 throughout the remainder of the quarter. The team was also helped by the strong effort of junior guard Andrea Cecil, who had 9 points in the first quarter.

The second quarter would see the Falcons increase their lead even more, as they went up 32-12 nearing the halfway mark of the second quarter. Using four straight field goals, as well as four successful free throws, to start out the second with 10 unanswered points.

However, the run would be stopped by Buffalo in the second quarter as the Falcons began to crawl back into the game with a 12 unanswered point rally of their own, cutting their lead to 32-24. The teams would remain mostly even throughout the rest of the half as the teams headed into the locker rooms with the Falcons holding a 42-31 lead. Cecil continued to lead the team offensively with 6 points.

“We started great,” Fralick said. “I thought we shared the ball really well, and we rebounded well. We knew that was a big key for us. Buffalo is a very good offensive rebound team, and I thought we did a great job of limiting them to one shot and getting our break going.”

In the third quarter, the Falcons would continue to outscore Buffalo, this time 22-20 with senior guard Sydney Lambert earning 10 points to keep the team in front. The Falcons carried a 64-51 lead with one quarter remaining.

In the fourth, however, Buffalo began turning the game around early on, as after the Falcons got 2 more points to start off the scoring in the quarter. Buffalo cut the advantage nearly in half with 8 unanswered points, all of which scored by Buffalo senior guard Cierra Dillard. While the Falcons were able to retain the lead through the middle portion of the quarter, Buffalo returned again with another strong rally, this time getting 10 consecutive points, 4 of which coming from junior forward Summer Hemphill, to cut the Falcons’ lead down to 1 with just over two minutes remaining. However, the Falcons rebounded, as Lambert made a free throw and sophomore guard Madisen Parker made both free throws to make it a two-possession game as the Falcons led 76-71. While Buffalo would get one more free throw, the Falcons held on as they sealed it with two more Parker free throws to claim the 78-72 win.

“I’m so proud of them,” Fralick said. “People think that everything a team is doing is based on winning and losing, but this team keeps showing up every day. They keep fighting, and they keep getting better. We were getting closer and closer, and tonight we did it.”

Cecil led the team with 26 points on the game, while Lambert followed up with 13 points. Parker had 12 points as freshman guard Kadie Hempfling finished with 11 points and senior forward Maddie Cole had 10 points as the team finished the night with five players in double-digit points, the most they have had in a game this season.

The team will next play on Saturday night on the road against the Kent State Golden Flashes.