Hamilton’s Hanna Hall leads Buffalo Bulls’ NCAA Tournament charge
|Toronto Star 22 Mar 2019 at 19:00|
The No. 10-seeded Buffalo Bulls women’s team, featuring five Canadians, pulled away late for a 82-71 win against the No. 7 Rutgers Scarlet Knights in Storrs, Conn.
Buffalo Bulls sophomore point guard Hanna Hall, left, drives to the basket during her team’s win against Rutgers in Storrs, Conn., on Friday. Buffalo, a No. 10 seed, advanced with an 82-71 win against Rutgers. (Paul Williams / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Starting guard Hanna Hall of Hamilton had 12 points and eight assists for the Bulls, while starting forward Adedola Adeyeye of Brampton chipped in with four points and five rebounds.
The Bulls’ other three Canadians — Oceane Kounkou of Gatineau, Que., Ayoleka Sodade of Windsor, Ont., and Keowa Walters of Toronto — did not play.
Buffalo is trying to advance to the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row.
Tennessee senior forward Kyle Alexander of Milton had two points and five rebounds as the second-seeded Volunteers withstood a Colgate rally to beat the No. 15 Raiders 77-70 in Columbus, Ohio.
While he didn’t have a huge day, at least Alexander erased memories of being sidelined with a hip injury in Tennessee’s second-round loss to upstart Loyola-Chicago last year. The Ramblers went all the way to the Final Four after that win.
Meanwhile, Hamilton’s Hailey Brown had six points and two rebounds as the No. 8-seeded Michigan Wolverines women’s team beat the No. 9 Kansas State Wildcats 84-54 in Louisville, Ky.
Another Canadian starter experienced a different result, though.
Montreal’s Luguentz Dort was held to 12 points by Buffalo in the Bulls’ 91-74 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils in Tulsa, Okla.
Dort, who had 21 points in Arizona State’s play-in win against St. John’s on Wednesday, shot 4 of 12 from the field against Buffalo and had three rebounds, two assists and four fouls.
Ignas Brazdeikis of Oakville and his No. 2 Michigan Wolverines square off with Andrew Nembhard of Aurora and the No. 10 Florida Gators in Des Moines, Iowa.
Later, Vancouver’s Brandon Clarke takes to the floor with the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs for a contest with the No. 9 Baylor Bears, who have Devonte Bandoo of Brampton on their roster, in Salt Lake City.
Mfiondu Kabengele of Burlington fresh off a double-double in Florida State’s tournament-opening win, also returns to action as the No. 4 Seminoles face the No. 12 Murray State Racers in Hartford, Conn.
“I think with our team, obviously our quality of our depth, our length, but more especially our intelligence. I feel like we’re one of the smarter teams in this conference,” Kabengele said. “I feel that goes underrated, and I feel like our decision-making and our game plan preparation is very excellent.”
Shay Colley of Brampton, also one of the top Canadian women in the NCAA ranks, begins her tournament with the No. 9 Michigan State Spartans against the No. 8 Central Michigan Chippewas in South Bend, Ind.
Other Canadian women in action include Alyssa Jerome (Stanford, Toronto) and Aislinn Konig (North Carolina State, Surrey, B.C.).