Senior Day for the University at Buffalo women's basketball team followed the script to the letter Saturday afternoon at Alumni Arena.
Brittany Hedderson moved into fourth place on the all-time scoring list. Teresa Semalulu cast aside her crutches and nearly matched her career high. And the third and fourth seniors in the class, Ephesia Holmes and Beth Christensen, each hit vital free throws in the final 30 seconds, sewing up a 61-56 victory over Ohio U. in their final home game.
Hedderson broke loose in the second half to finish with 18 points and push her career total to 1,415. Her three-point plays on consecutive possessions turned the game UB's way midway through the second half. Christa Baccas assisted on both plays as Hedderson victimized the aggressive defense of Ohio's Ashley Fowler with back-door cuts.
"She really just got the opening and they were perfect passes, too," Hedderson said of Baccas' feeds. "A little closer and she would have tipped it. I just think it's really the connection all of us have been working on all season. We're learning to play better together and clicking just in time."
Semalulu left on crutches with a severe ankle sprain following Tuesday's win over Kent State and was a doubtful go on Saturday. Who knew? Her 15 points were one shy of her career high and her steal and layup with 3:16 left put the Bulls ahead 51-44.
"Unless it was broken it was the only thing that was going to stop me," said Semalulu, who credited Sue Rocque with the treatments that got her ready.
Free throws down the stretch enabled UB (9-20, 4-11) to keep the Bobcats (13-16, 6-9) at bay and ensure the four seniors would walk off the court winners.
"I'm really proud of the effort," said coach Linda Hill-MacDonald. "I'm really happy for the seniors that this is the memory they take from their last game at Alumni Arena. I don't know if we could have scripted it any better."