Hold an opponent to 19% shooting in a half, and you're likely to win.
UB Women's Basketball blitzed Bowling Green from the outset this evening on the way to a 60-44 win in their first round MAC Tournament matchup. Joanna Smith tallied 12 points and 6 boards in the first half alone after two tough regular season games against the Falcons.
The junior, named First Team All-MAC earlier today, finished with 16, but it was a slowed-down third quarter where Buffalo really iced the game. Bowling Green did not score for over eight minutes as UB's defense blew up every offensive set the Falcons had, as the visitors turned the ball over seven times in the third quarter alone and UB opened a 51-29 lead heading into the last quarter.
From top to bottom, this was a fine showing in a win-or-go-home game. Steph Reid finished with 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists, Cassie Oursler with 10 points and 8 rebounds, and four more Bulls had four or more rebounds. The decision to slow down in the second half and turn a commanding lead over to the defense worked to perfection, and UB is headed to Cleveland.
This win was not without its flaws: UB hit only two threes after the first quarter, and was ineffective offensively in the fourth. But Smith outperformed her regular season showings against the Falcons, the Bulls again dominated the boards, 45-30, and Bowling Green couldn't do anything offensively.
UB now moves on to Cleveland and the #1 seed Ohio Bobcats, who are 16-2 against MAC opponents, though notably lost to Buffalo at both opportunities.