The University of Buffalo women women hung around for a while but couldn't keep up with Mississippi State in a 72-58 loss at the Lehigh Christmas City Classic in Bethlehem, Pa., Wednesday night.
The Bulls (5-6) led their Southeastern Conference opponent, 38-36, at halftime. And with just over 15 minutes left, the Bulls took a five-point lead on a three-point play by Kourtney Brown. But the Bulldogs (8-3) promptly went on a 17-2 run to take control. Mississippi State hit 7 of 10 shots behind the arc in the second half.
The senior Brown became the UB's all-time leader in career field goals with 608. She led all scorers with 26 points and also grabbed eight rebounds. UB will play in the consolation game against either Rider or Lehigh today at 5 p.m.
In other Big 4 action tonight, the Niagara men play at UMBC in Baltimore at 7 p.m. and St. Bonaventure women will host West Virginia at 7.
Niagara (3-10) is coming off of a 45-point loss to Drexel on Tuesday. In the blowout, the Purple Eagles' season-long ailments continued. NU was outrebounded 49-27, shot only 29 percent from the field and struggled mightily on defense as the Dragons totaled 28 assists.
Defense remains the Bona women's strength. The Bonnies (9-4) allow only 51.7 points per game -- best in the Atlantic 10. Now, Jim Crowley's team has a chance to make a major statement against West Virginia (12-0), which is ranked sixth in the nation.