Playing without freshman scoring star Dyaisha Fair, the University at Buffalo women’s basketball team lost to Ohio University, 76-65, on Saturday at Alumni Arena.
It was the second straight loss in conference play for the Bulls, who were playing their Mid-American Conference home opener.
Fair, who is fifth in the nation in scoring among NCAA Division I women with a 23.1 average, was missing from the official box score of the game with no explanation.
Later, a UB athletics spokesperson, in an emailed reply, wrote:
“Dyaisha missed today’s game due to a violation of team rules. Coach Jack addressed it briefly in her postgame press conference.” The reference was to coach Felisha Legette-Jack.
Fair, a 5-foot-5 guard from Edison Tech in Rochester, scored 17 points in her most recent game, at Toledo on Wednesday playing all 40 minutes. She has played no less than 31 minutes in any UB game this season and has scored 22 points or more in 10 of the 13 she’s played. Her high game was 31 at Niagara.
Her field goal shooting percentage is .372, .364 from 3-point range. She has 57 assists and 58 turnovers, recorded 39 steals and averages 5.7 rebounds a game.
UB certainly could have used Fair against the Bobcats, who were the preseason favorites to win the MAC title. The Bobcats lost to UB, 77-61, in the championship game of the last year’s MAC tournament.
“This is a veteran team that we just played,” Legette-Jack said. “This is the same team that’s been together for the last three years. They are road-tested against Power Five teams and I thought we did a good job of keeping it close, but I think when we play the next time we are going to adjust a little bit better defensively.”
The Bulls fell behind 7-0 to start and never caught up. Ohio led, 30-14, in the second quarter and the closest UB got was four points, 51-47, on 3-pointer by Hanna Hall with 2:47 left in the third quarter. The Bobcats nailed down the win by outscoring UB, 14-3, at the foul line in the second half.
Most hurtful was UB’s 22 turnovers, leading to 29 Ohio points. The Bobcats had only 14 turnovers, which were converted to 16 points. UB had a 36-29 rebound advantage.
Four Ohio players scored in double figures led by Erika Johnson’s 22 points. She also had eight rebounds.
Jessika Schiffer led UB with 14 points, shooting 4 of 12 from 3-point range. Schiffer, a freshman from Germany, was making her first start for UB this season.
Canisius, NU women lose
Both Canisius and Niagara lost Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference home games on Saturday afternoon.
Siena (3-11, 1-4 MAAC) outscored Canisius, 18-5, over the last 7:09 and defeated the Golden Griffins, 69-63, at the Koessler Athletic Center. Canisius led by as many as 12, 40-28, with 1:36 left in the first half after a 10-0 run but couldn’t hold the advantage. Canisius is 2-11, 1-3 in the MAAC.
Siena’s Margo Peterson and Amari Anthony scored 18 points each in the victory.
Junior Danielle Sanderlin had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Canisius, her second double-double of the season. She also had four assists.
“I love (Sanderlin’s) energy,” said Canisius coach Scott Hemer. “She comes prepared for every game, she understands the game plan inside and out and she executes it.”
Niagara (3-10, 1-3 MAAC) was routed by Marist (11-2, 4-0), 94-67, at the Gallagher Center despite a 23-point output by Jai Moore. Marist used 14 players and 13 of them scored led by Rebekah Hand and Alana Gilmer who had 18 each. Marist took care of matters early, opening with a 24-0 run.
Marist led 56-22 at halftime and by as many at 37 points in the second half.
Niagara has defeated Marist only four times since 2004, and three of the wins were on the Red Foxes’ home floor in Poughkeepsie. Niagara has lost 10 straight to Marist at the Gallagher Center.
Canisius, still in search of its first conference win, and Niagara will finish two-game road trips with games on Sunday afternoon.
The Golden Griffins (5-10, 0-4 MAAC) will face Saint Peter’s (5-7, 2-1 MAAC) in Jersey City, N.J. One of the Peacocks’ two conference wins was on the road at Iona.
Niagara (3-11, 1-2 MAAC) will take on Iona (3-7, 1-2 MAAC) in New Rochelle. The Gaels’ other loss in conference play was at Monmouth, which defeated Canisius on Friday.
Niagara lost at Quinnipiac on Friday.
The St. Bonaventure women (3-11, 0-2 Atlantic 10) will face George Mason and its junior scoring star Nicole Cardano-Hillary (17.9) in a 1 p.m. game at the Reilly Center.