The UB women’s basketball team returns to Alumni Arena today for the first time since November, hosting the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal with a 14-game home winning streak on the line.
This will be the second ranked opponent to play UB this season; the Bulls lost in November to then-No. 3 Oregon, 102-82.
Stanford, ranked second in the Pac-12 preseason poll behind Oregon, comes into the game at 8-1 overall and with the 13th-ranked offense in the NCAA.
Leading that potent unit is forward Alanna Smith, who is averaging 18.2 points and six rebounds per game this season. Named to the All-Pac-12 team last February, the senior has scored double-digit points in all games this season but one.
Some Western New Yorkers may also recognize Cardinals’ coach Tara VanDerveer, who graduated from Buffalo Seminary in 1971 and is an honorary member of the school’s board of trustees.
UB’s Cierra Dillard is currently the NCAA’s leader in points per game, averaging 25.4 so far this season.
Tip-off is scheduled for noon, and the game can be seen on ESPN+.
Griffs can’t hold lead
Canisius held a 10-point lead over Holy Cross with five minutes to play, but couldn’t keep the Crusaders down, losing 65-63 Thursday to fall to 3-7 overall.
Three Golden Griffins recorded double digit points in the loss; Isaiah Reese put up 16, Takal Molson had 14 and Scott Hitchon recorded 11.
Jehyve Floyd and Jacob Grandison led Holy Cross (7-4) with 15 points each.
Not one Canisius shot hit paydirt in the final five minutes of the game, allowing Holy Cross to chip away at the Griffs’ 63-53 lead.
Jacob Grandison and Austin Butler each sank free throws off of a Canisius technical foul, and Floyd sank a layup to give the Crusaders the lead and the win.
Canisius has nine days to recover before a sold-out home game against the white-hot UB Bulls on Dec. 29.
Bona takes on Huskies
St. Bonaventure will travel to Boston, Mass. on Friday for a meeting with Northeastern.
Both the Bonnies (4-7) and Huskies are coming off of losses to Vermont, St. Bonaventure’s an 83-76 loss in double overtime on Tuesday. Courtney Stockard had 27 points before fouling out for the Bonnies.
Northeastern was picked to win the Colonial Athletic Association in the preseason, but have only mustered a 5-6 record this season. The Huskies are led by Syracuse native Jordan Roland, who averages 16 points per game.
Game time is set for noon at the Matthews Arena.