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Brown's big game not enough UB star nets 31; Ball State wins

Kourtney Brown can dominate the paint.

The sophomore for the University at Buffalo women's team has found her groove after sitting out last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Sunday afternoon, Brown notched her ninth 20-point performance of the year and fifth double-double, with a career-high 31 points and 11 rebounds.

Unfortunately, the Bulls didn't get adequate numbers from her supporting cast and dropped an 83-62 decision to Ball State in front of 425 in Alumni Arena.

The loss makes the Bulls 5-18 overall and just 1-8 in the Mid-American Conference. UB has lost 14 of its last 15 games.

To their credit, Brown's teammates found her in the low post and got the ball to the lanky forward with the hot hand and soft scoring touch.

But while Brown went 13 of 17 from the field, the other Bulls were only 11 for 47.

"Kourtney's teammates have to step up," Buffalo coach Linda Hill-MacDonald said. "It's very discouraging, and each player has to contribute not just offensively but defensively as well. You're only able to play with what you bring to the table and we had a lot of empty plates today.

"Kourtney has been the consistent player for us. In the game we won last week [over Western Michigan] we had five players in double figures but we need to see that every game. We need at least three players in double figures on a regular basis and that inconsistency has been a thorn in our side."

Brown has been one of the best in the Mid-American Conference. In MAC-only games she ranks fifth in the conference in scoring (17.3 points per game) and fourth in rebounding (8.3 rpg).

Her shot-blocking ability ranks top in conference games, and Brown demonstrated her ability on the defensive end, rejecting four shots, earning two steals.

"My teammates were able to find me down low and really they were just looking for me," Brown said. "I wanted to perform well and help my team win any way I could, but getting down low and posting hard or running the floor and getting in position for a defensive stop.

"I'm starting to get more comfortable with double teams. I'm working in practice on who to kick [the ball] out to and reposting. I feel like I'm starting to get a hold of knowing that every time I don't have to shoot it. I can kick it out and get it back in."

Ball State (15-8, 7-2) never trailed. The Cardinals led by as many as 10 points (33-23) with 6:42 to play in the first half, but the Bulls closed the gap to five, 37-32, at halftime.

UB had another slow start in the second half, however. Aside from Brown, the Bulls struggled from the floor as Ball State pushed the lead back to 15 (59-44) with 9:34 to play.
Four Ball State players reached double figures, led by Porchia Green's 15 points.

In the final tally, Ball State (15-8, 7-2 MAC) shot 56.1 percent from the field (32 of 57) and hit 8 of 20 from three-point range.

e-mail: amoritz@buffnews.com

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