Mackenzie Loesing scored 23 of her career-high 25 points in the second half, and the Canisius women’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a season-high 27 turnovers as the Golden Griffins lost 68-59 to the University at Buffalo at Alumni Arena on Wednesday evening. The Golden Griffins see their record even at 3-3 on the season.
Sophomore Tiahana Mills had 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, leading Canisius in all three categories. Senior Jamie Ruttle had 10 points and five rebounds in just 18 foul-plagued minutes. Sophomore Emily Weber added 11 points off the bench, making 3-of-5 3-pointers.
“I was disappointed in our lack of energy to start the game. Buffalo came out and played harder than us tonight,” Canisius coach Terry Zeh said. “We turned the basketball over way too much and couldn’t overcome those mistakes.”
Canisius scored its first three baskets on 3-pointers, taking an early 9-6 lead after a 3-pointer from Mills. The Griffs would become reliant on the outside shot with 11 of their first 13 shots coming from behind the arc. Buffalo’s defense took the Canisius offense out of its rhythm as the Bulls combined that with 18 points in the paint in the first half. The Bulls led by as many as nine points in the opening 20 minutes and took a 29-23 lead into the locker room.
Buffalo (3-2) took advantage of three Canisius turnovers and used five offensive rebounds early in the second half to push its lead to 38-25. Canisius then used 3-pointers from senior Jen Morabito and Mills on back-to-back possessions to make it a seven-point game with just under 15 minutes remaining. Buffalo extended the lead back to double digits before Canisius fought back.
Canisius scored 12 of the next 16 points, with the second 3-pointer of the half from Weber making the deficit two points at 45-43. Canisius would tie the game at 47-47 on a teardrop runner from Mills. A 3-pointer on the next possession from Margeaux Gupilan gave the lead right back to Buffalo, who went on a 12-4 run to put the game away. Loesing would have two uncontested layups during the run that featured three critical Canisius turnovers.
Loesing went 9-for-17, including 8-for-10 on two-point shots, to score the 25 points. Christa Baccas had a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds while Kristen Sharkey had nine points and 14 rebounds.
Canisius plays its next two games in the Koessler Athletic Center, starting with Wednesday’s contest against St. Bonaventure. Game time in the KAC is set for 7 p.m.
Notes: Buffalo defeated Canisius for the third time in the last four years… The 27 turnovers were the most by Canisius since they had 28 against Albany on Dec. 8, 2012... Mills had at least seven assists for the third time in four games… Morabito made at least two 3-pointers from the fifth time in six games… In the last three games, senior Jen Lennox is averaging 7.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 15 minutes per game… Canisius has attempted 12 free throws in the last two games after averaging 16 free-throw attempts in the first four games… Canisius made 10 3-pointers for the third time this season. In the last three seasons combined, Canisius made double-digit 3-pointers a total of four times… The 42.6 field goal percentage is the highest for the Griffs in a loss since shooting 46 percent in a loss at Akron last season.