The University at Buffalo Women’s basketball team saw their season come to a close against No. 2 seed UConn Sunday night in the NCAA Round of 32. The Huskies defeated the Bulls 87-72.

Connecticut started the game on a 15-0 run after the Bulls turned the ball over six times. UB’s first bucket didn’t come until just under six minutes into the quarter. However, Buffalo used a 9-0 run to close out the quarter, trailing the Huskies 27-15.

UConn swung the momentum back in their favor, opening the quarter on a 11-2 run. Both teams stayed fairly even through the midway point of the second quarter, tallying seven points a piece. At the half, Buffalo cut Connecticut’s lead to just 15 at the half, and would head into the break trailing 52-37.

UConn went on a 15-7 run to start the third quarter. The Bulls would trail Connecticut 73-55 after three quarters. Buffalo would go on a 9-2 run in the opening minutes of the 4th quarter, to pull within 11. 

The rally was stunted momentarily when Gates-Chili grad Cierra Dillard went down with what appeared to be a nasty ankle injury. However, she returned to the game two minutes later to gut through the final six minutes of play. She scored five points down the stretch. 

The Bulls would cut the lead to 8 with 2:36 to play, but UConn would hold their slim lead and ultimately advance to their 26th straight Sweet 16 Appearance. 

A lot of teams get blown out. A lot of ranked teams get beat, Dillard said. They can’t say they walked over us. UConn cannot say thay walked over Buffalo. UConn cannot say that Buffalo didn’t give them a fight.

We really went out there and did a tremendous job of getting the respect of the nation of not quitting, of fighting, of believing that they, too, matter, said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack.

Even against might UConn, moral victories were still not enough. 

I can’t stand to lose and my teammates can’t stand to lose either. This one hit us hard, Dillard said. 

Dillard led the Bulls with 29 points in her final game in a Buffalo uniform. Autumn Jones chipped in with 14.

The Bulls finish the season with a 24-10 overall record.