BUFFALO, N.Y. – Despite a five-point halftime lead, the Ohio women's basketball team (15-12, 9-7 MAC) was unable to hold off Mid-American Conference East-leading Buffalo (23-4, 14-2 MAC), falling to the Bulls, 70-53, Saturday afternoon inside Alumni Arena.
HOW IT WAS DECIDED
Buffalo get off to an early 3-2 lead before a three-pointer from Katie Barker (Cary, Ill.) gave the Bobcats a 4-3 lead. Buffalo would then 6-0 run to take a 9-4 lead with 5:51 left in the first quarter.
Ohio would then start to chip away with a 6-1 run to tie the game at 10-10 after a layup from Amani Burke (Columbus, Ohio). Buffalo would hit a three pointer to take a 13-10 lead before Cierra Hooks (Dayton, Ohio) hit a free throw at the end of the quarter to cut the lead to 13-11.
At the start of the second quarter, a jumper by Burke would tie the game at 13-13 before Buffalo would go up three again. Moments later, a three-pointer from Gabby Burris (Baltimore, Ohio) would tie the game at 16-16 with 7:52 left in the quarter.
A layup from Burris would give Ohio the 18-16 lead. Then with four minutes to go, another three from Barker would put the Bobcats up 21-17. Buffalo would tie the game at 21-21 with 1:08 left in the quarter, however a three pointer from Burke and a layup from Taylor Agler (Westerville, Ohio) would give the Bobcats a 26-21 lead at the half.
At the half, Burke led Ohio with seven points, followed by Burris and Barker who both had six points.
Buffalo would start the third quarter with the first points, making the score 26-24 before a three pointer from Burris would put Ohio up 29-24 with 9:32 left in the third. Moments later, a layup from Hooks would give Ohio a seven-point lead. However, Buffalo would start to chip away, cutting the Bobcats' lead to 36-33 before going on a 9-0 run before Burke would hit another three, giving the Bulls a 42039 lead with 3:41 left in the third.
Buffalo would take an eight-point lead with two minutes left in the quarter, but a layup from Hooks at the end of the period would give Ohio the 47-41 lead after the third quarter.
Buffalo would open the fourth quarter on a 14-5 run to give the Bulls a 60-46 lead with 3:54 left in the game. With 2:59 left, Hooks would hit two free throws to cut the lead to 62-48, but with 1:23 left, UB would take a 70-48 lead.
Over the final 1:14, Burke would hit a three-pointer and two free throws, but Buffalo would come away with the 70-53 victory.
Burke led Ohio with 18 points, going 6-of-14 from the field, 4-of-8 from three and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. She also grabbed three rebounds and had two steals.
Hooks added 12 points, going 4-of-11 from the field while grabbing eight rebounds.
Burris scored 11 points, going 4-of-10 from the field and 2-of-3 from three-point range. She also grabbed four rebounds.
As a team, Ohio went 18-of-54 (.333) from the field, 8-of-24 (.333) from three-point range and 9-of-18 (.500) from the free throw line.
UB outrebounded Ohio 52-31.
The Bobcats forced Buffalo to turn the ball over 16 times and scored 13 points off of them. They also scored 18 points in the paint and 22 points off the bench.
Buffalo had six players score in double figures and were led by Autumm Jones who had 14. Meanwhile, Summer Hemphill grabbed 23 rebounds for the Bulls.
Buffalo shot .387 from the field, .250 from three-point range and .727 from the free throw line.
Buffalo scored 32 points in the paint, 12 points off of turnovers, 10 second chance points and 27 bench points.
"I thought we did some nice things in the first half, we guarded them well and knocked down some shots. But the second half our offense didn't help our defense at times, and with Buffalo being as good as they are, the took advantage." – Head coach Bob Boldon
Up next, the Bobcats return to Athens for the final home game of the regular season Wednesday, Feb. 28 when Ohio takes on Miami. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. inside the Convocation Center. Wednesday is also Senior Night for the Bobcats. Stick around after the game for the night's ceremony.