Campus News

Women play with heart

By MICHAEL ANDREI

Published March 18, 2016

“They are playing with a lot of heart versus a powerful team.”
Tom Jauch, Network and Classroom Services communications systems engineer

The UB women’s basketball team ended its season by winning five straight games – including four straight MAC tournament games.

Games that were won by playing with consistency, toughness, grit.

And heart.

Seeded No. 14 in the NCAA tournament, the Bulls drew Ohio State, a No. 3 seed. A team that averaged nearly 90 points a game, third best in the nation.

UB community members gathered in the Student Union lobby to watch the broadcast of the team’s first-ever appearance in the women’s NCAA tournament. The Bulls jumped out to a quick lead, bringing loud cheers from their fans.

The end of the first half brought a different story, however, with Ohio State having taken the lead back against the Bulls, one they would never relinquish.

Throughout the game’s second half, many Bulls’ fans spoke out in support of the players and what it meant to play in the Big Dance for the first time.

“I watched the men’s game last night, and watching this one now, I am so proud to be an alum,” said Megan Stewart, assistant director of the UB Honors College.

“Both teams are bringing national recognition to us. Things such as this help attract students to UB.”

Looking up at the TV screen, Stewart’s mother, Lois Pendergast, said, “Being the mother of two UB graduates, I think this is terrific for the university. Everyone should be very proud of the teams.”

John Ciesielski, who graduated from UB in 1972 with a degree in philosophy, felt it was “a feather in the cap for each team to have made the NCAAs.”

“It is especially great, I think, for the women to have made the tournament since they were picked by some to finish last this season. Players have come from all over the world to play on this team.”

Others watching the game said that having UB’s men’s and women’s basketball teams in the NCAA Big Dance together represents an achievement that builds community support for student-athletes. One Bulls fan said that supporting UB Athletics helps to build a national reputation for the university.

“Fans are excited to see UB’s teams playing on a national level,” said Adam Pawlowski, a network analyst in UB Network and Classroom Services. “Everyone will want to see them make it back to the NCAA tournaments.”  

Watching the game, Tom Jauch, a Network and Classroom Services communications systems engineer added: “They are playing with a lot of heart versus a powerful team.”