A second straight 14-3 matchup yielded a second straight loss for Buffalo hoops fans Friday afternoon, where the women's tilt was a good deal more lopsided than yesterday's hard-fought men's loss. Facing #3-seed Ohio State, who spent much of the year ranked in the top five nationally before a late skid, the Bulls fell 88-69.
Needing three upsets in Cleveland just to get here and matched up with an Ohio State group who may have fallen a seed line (or two) with late losses, UB today was probably in and even more imbalanced 14-3 contest than usual. After an early 5-0 lead that lasted to 11-8, the Bulls just had no answer in their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth, surrendering a 22-1 run over the last 4:17 of the first quarter than effectively ended the game.
Joanna Smith led the Bulls with 23 points, while Courtney Wilkins topped double digits for the first time in her career, scoring 14 on three triples. Otherwise, there were few highlights for the Bulls, though they did play the Buckeyes even on the boards, though how much you can take from that in a game that was barely within 20 at any point after the first quarter, I don't know. Everyone did get a chance to play, with Ayoleka Sodade the only Bull to see fewer than five minutes of floortime.
The 20-win season is the first for UB in the MAC era, comes on the heels of a 19-win season that saw UB's first-ever postseason berth (with a much more experienced group) and should establish UB and coach Felisha Legette-Jack's program with a solid foundation for the next few years.