UMass women’s basketball guard Cierra Dillard transfers to Buffalo

By Adam Aucoin

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(Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian)

This week has been a big one for the Massachusetts women’s basketball team.

On Saturday, UMass announced the hiring of head coach Tory Verdi, while Monday’s news came in regards to a Minutewomen leaving the program.

Former UMass guard Cierra Dillard will transfer to Buffalo, according a press release from Buffalo athletics.

As part of the transfer, Dillard will have to sit out next season and will be available to play again during the 2017-18 season, where she will still have two years of eligibility remaining.

Dillard was the top scorer for the Minutewomen during the 2015-16 season, averaging 15.5 points per game. She also contributed strong on the boards with 3.3 rebounds per game, and on the defensive end with two steals per game.

“Cierra Dillard is a program changer and the impact that she will have on our team will be immediate,” Bulls coach Felisha Legette-Jack said in the press release. “She is a combo guard that is strong enough to post up smaller guards and her basketball IQ and love for the game are immeasurable.”

For Dillard, the transfer means she will be playing much closer to home as she is originally from Rochester, New York, as the distance from Rochester to Buffalo is only 74 miles. Dillard expressed excitement for her transfer closer to home in a tweet she posted Monday afternoon.

“Bringing local greats back home to play for UB, arguably the best school in Western New York, is the next phase of our recruitment,” Legette-Jack said. “We are thrilled that Cierra and a few others are joining us on our mission to make Buffalo a destination for higher learning and competitive women’s basketball. We welcome Cierra to our UB family.”

The Minutewomen will need to look to replace the production Dillard produced over the last two seasons while also adjusting to Verdi’s style of coaching. UMass will be returning their entire roster from last season except for Dillard, and seniors Rashida Timbilla and Victoria Stewart.UMass women’s basketball guard Cierra Dillard transfers to Buffalo

Adam Aucoin can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @aaucoin34.