Bengals top Mavericks, 82-68 in season opener


Dave DeLuca/The Record

Keyone Edwards had 13 points and 3 assists in Tuesday’s season-opening win.

Jahvon Graham, Reporter


A new era has begun for the Buffalo State women’s basketball program. In the Bengals’ season-opener and new head coach Kevin Clifford’s debut, Buffalo State defeated Medaille, 82-68.

“It was very important to get that first win,” said Clifford. “It will be even more important to build on this win.”

Buffalo State’s offense looked to be on the same page for much of the game.

“Our offense seemed to be clicking today. We shot well from the 3-point line, but we need to improve on our free throws,” Clifford said.

Junior guard Taylor Graham was the Bengals’ leading scorer with 16 points. She shot 60 percent from the field.

Graham got help from senior forward Jordan Yastremki and sophomore guard Keyonte Edwards, who both recorded double-doubles. Yastremski posted 15 points and 13 rebounds while Edwards added 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Freshman guard Grace Licata provided a jolt of offense off the bench. She didn’t play in the first half, but netted 13 points in the second half alone.

The game featured a total of 37 turnovers, 20 of which were committed by Buffalo State.

“We have a lot of things to work on like not turning the ball over, but I have to see the film,” said Clifford. “I liked the defense; we played as a team. We were very active with our hands and got a lot of steals and deflections,”

The Bengals recorded 13 steals, led by Keyonte Edwards with four.

“Medaille is a well-coached team and to hold them to 68 points was great,” Clifford added.

Buffalo State held a 39-32 lead at halftime. They saw that lead cut to two points early into the third quarter. By the end of the third quarter they were back on top with a healthy 60-54 lead.

Grace Licata missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the third quarter. She made up for it by netting a 3-pointer on Buffalo State’s first possession of the 4th quarter. Buffalo State extended its lead to 14 points by with 3:48 left in the game, a lead was held onto as Buffalo State went on to win 82-68.

“It was important to get this first win to show how we play to the fans and most of all ourselves,” Clifford said. “Our coaching staff really did a good job. We can’t let this win get to our heads. We are focused on the process of improvement.”

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