Providence, RI- Junior captain Hannah Passafuime (Soquel, CA) posted her first career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds this afternoon at the Pizzitola Sports Center, but it wasn't enough to defeat the University at Buffalo as the Bears fell 58-53 in their first game of 2011. Buffalo improved to 7-6 on the year while the Bears dropped to 4-9.
The visiting Bulls were able to take an immediate lead against the Bears and gained as much as an eight point advantage after a three-pointer by Buffalo's Nicki Hopkins just seven minutes into the game. However, a jumper by sophomore guard Sheila Dixon (Schnectady, NY) at 12:33 sparked a 11-2 run over the next five minutes of play to bring Brown back within one. But Buffalo crashed the boards hard and was able to limit Brown's shots to fight back and regain a seven-point lead, 32-25, by halftime.
Freshman Lauren Clarke (Colts Neck, NJ) came out hot in the second half and went off to score seven of the next nine points as her layup at the 16:49 mark gave Brown its first lead of the game, 34-32. A jump shot by Buffalo's Bridgette Kendricks evened the score just 30 seconds later, but Bruno regained the lead and was ahead 38-34 with 15:22 remaining in the second half.
Over the next six minutes both squads traded buckets, but a layup by Buffalo's leading scorer Kourtney Brown put the lead back in the hands of the Bulls and never looked back. A three pointer by Kendricks gave Buffalo an eight point lead with just over 3:00 on the clock, but Clarke nailed another trey with 2:16 remaining to cut the Bears' deficit to five to end the game.
Buffalo senior Kourtney Brown registered her 37th double-double of her career after scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Ashley Zuber added 11 points, pulled down six rebounds and handed out seven assists and Brittany Hedderson put in nine points for the Bulls. Buffalo shot 40 percent from the field (25-62) and brought down 42 rebounds.
Passafuime earned her first double-double with 13 points and 12 boards, and also added three assists and a steal for the Bears. Clarke led all scorers with 19 points, and handed out three assists and had a career-high seven steals. Brown finished the game shooting 32 percent form the field and was just 26 percent from beyond the arc.
Brown hosts NJIT at 7 p.m. on Thursday in its final non-conference game of the year. Then, Brown opens Ivy League play on Friday in a home-and-home series against Yale. The Bears travel to New Haven on Friday, Jan. 14, for a 7 p.m. game, and will then host the Bulldogs the following Friday at the Pizzitola Sports Center.