‘You Matter’: How Felisha Legette-Jack and the UB women gave UConn a second-round game for the ages

When​ Felisha Legette-Jack​ fielded questions last​ Friday​ night,​ two days before​ the University​ at Buffalo met Connecticut in​ the​ second round​​ of the 2019 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, she had a little fun with the reporters. With a straight face, she said that she had inquired about the legality of kidnapping some of the Huskies players, before a smile gave way.

“They’re the best team ever!” she laughed with her hands in mid-air, as if asking the pool of reporters what they expected her to say or do in preparation for the No. 2 seed.

UConn is UConn. What can anybody do?

Instead of diving right into film and developing a game plan for the matchup, Legette-Jack and her players reveled in their first-round victory over Rutgers University. Buffalo, a 10 seed, had just defeated the seventh-seeded Scarlet Knights 82-71 in what was considered an “upset.” Legette-Jack saw it differently. It was a game she knew her team could win if every single player stepped up and did her part. Four players — Cierra Dillard, Summer Hemphill, Hanna Hall and Autumn Jones — chipped in double-digit scoring performances and UB became the first women’s basketball team in the Mid-American Conference to win an NCAA Tournament game in back-to-back years since Toledo in 1991-92.

That night, the Bulls celebrated. They danced. They felt invincible.

UConn would simply have to wait.

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