Bengals home win-streak broken over weekend


Dave DeLuca/The Record

Senior #23 Bianca netted her 1,000th career point in Friday’s game against Brockport.

Buffalo State women’s basketball hosted Brockport and Geneseo over the weekend, defeating Brockport, 78-47, on Friday and falling to Geneseo, 75-45, on Saturday.

On Friday, the Bengals wore special pink uniforms in association with the WBCA Play 4 Kay initiative, an organization named after former North Carolina State University coach Kay Yow that supports breast cancer research and awareness. Assistant coach Max Payne purchased the uniforms in honor of his late wife who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2007.

The Bengals got 17 points from Staci McElroy, 13 points from Olivia Luciani, and 12 points and seven rebounds each from Bianca Smiley and Ashley Wallace. Mary Cain added nine points and 13 rebounds, both career-highs.

Brockport netted the first basket of the game, but Buffalo State scored the next nine and led 36-21 at halftime. Brockport never threatened the Bengals lead in the second half.

Buffalo State had the upper hand with a 20-9 turnover differential, 44 to Brockport’s 34 percent shooting from the field, and allowed Brockport to connect on just two of 13 shots from outside the arc.

“We played with a lot of energy and had a great defensive effort against Brockport,” said head coach Sue Roarke. “We were able to get out and push the ball in transition, too.”

Saturday was the last home game of the regular season, and, per tradition, senior night. Mary Cain, Kala Crawford, Staci McElroy, team captain Kelly Kell, and Bianca Smiley celebrated their last regular season game at the Sports Arena before tipoff. Smiley’s day was even more memorable because she netted her 1,000th career point.

“The nice thing for the seniors this year is that we already know we’re in the playoffs,” said Roarke. “It takes a little bit of the pressure off because you know you still have some games in front of you.”

The Bengals fell behind 13-2 early on, and couldn’t find a way to close the gap. They shot just 21 percent shooting from the field, and 2 for 17 shooting threes. Geneseo made 40 percent of their shots from the field, and were 7 of 14 on three-point shots.

“We came out flat, honestly,” said Luciani. “We were tired. Saturday games are always tough.”

“We got out to a slow start and let it affect us,” said McElroy. “There were some people who were getting frustrated. We just need to play as a team. From here on out we just need to win the last two games, it’s all we can do.”

Olivia Luciani led the Bengals with 11 points, Ashley Wallace had 10 points and nine rebounds, and Staci McElroy had eight points, but it wasn’t enough for the Bengals on Saturday.

“Our conference is a battle,” said Roarke. “There’s going to be some ups and downs in the season, the good thing about this team is when we have had some losses this year, we’ve bounced back and had success, so I expect to do that again with this group.”

The SUNYAC-leading Bengals (18-5) travel to take on Potsdam (6-16) on Friday and Plattsburgh (17-5) Saturday, in what could be the game that decides the top seed going into the SUNYAC playoffs.

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