The fairy tale season for the Buffalo Bulls Women's Basketball team continues. Ohio has fallen again. I repeat, Ohio has fallen. The Bobcats could not find an answer at all late in the game. Buffalo is going to the MAC semi-finals for the second straight year thanks to an amazing fourth quarter run.
The first quarter started out with some cold shooting on both sides. Three minutes into the game, the only four points scored on both sides were from the charity stripe. Buffalo would start 0-6 from the field before a nice offensive put back by Joanna Smith got things going. Smith would take advantage of a quick Ohio turnover to sink a three. It didn't stop there as Stephanie Reid forced another Ohio turnover and Brittany Morrison took a reverse layup in for another two points. Just like that, The Bulls had an 10-3 lead going into the first media time out. The Bobcats went on their own run from there and brought it back to within four as the quarter finished up.
Going into the second quarter with a 14-10 lead, Buffalo started to struggle. Cassie Oursler and Brittany Morrison quickly picked up their second fouls. Without those two in the floor, Ohio really started to control the pace.Three minutes in they had yet to score a point and the Bobcats continued to produce some solid offense. Joanna Smith broke through the drought with a huge three point play after being fouled in the post. Ohio kept punching holes in the Buffalo's defense from there. putting the Bulls down 7 halfway through the quarter. The streakiness of this game continued from there and Buffalo brought it back to a one point game in a fast paced minute. Heading into the half, Buffalo trailed 29-28.
The third quarter started with both teams taking crushing blows to the opposing defenses. Scares of foul trouble continued as well as Cassie Oursler picked up her third foul early in the quarter. Three players had three or more fouls with 3:30 left in the quarter. For the first time since the first half, the Bulls really started to move on offense. A Katherine Ups three pointer opened the floodgates and then a Joanna Smith three followed. She already had 19 points with 2 minutes left in the quarter. With 10 minutes left in the game, the Bulls lead 52-47.
The final quarter had to have been a dream. Buffalo ran away and Ohio couldn't keep up. Mired in foul trouble, Cassie Oursler broke through and scored a layup. From there it was over. The Bulls took full control as the shots kept falling and Ohio soon stalled out. Buffalo now accounts for half of Ohio's wins and will be playing on Friday.
The Bulls were lead by the Power Trio of Joanna Smith, Stephanie Reid, and Cassie Oursler. They each had 19, 16, and 15 points respectively. Smith also grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double. Katherine Ups and Karin Moss also had fantastic days. The two combined for 15 points and 10 rebounds.
As it stands, Buffalo will be playing at 12:00 PM EST on Friday.
5:12 PM: Buffalo will play #5 Akron in the semi-finals
Here's how the bracket currently shapes up: