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Buffalo Bulls Women’s Basketball loses in MAC semi-finals to Toledo 72-65

Photo Courtesy of UB Athletics

Buffalo Bulls Women’s Basketball’s MAC Tournament run came to end today after falling to the #6 seed Toledo Rockets. In a game where the Rockets was one step ahead for most of the game, UB had an almost identical stat sheet as the Rockets in the 72-65 stumble in the MAC semi-finals.

UB got out to a relatively good shooting start in the first quarter jumping out to a 12-8 advantage over the Rockets. The Bulls saw great early minutes on offense from their power trio of Smith, Reid, and Oursler.

Buffalo and Toledo continued to trade blows for the rest of the half until there was 2:47 to go. The Rockets then went on a run capitalized by a jumper, layup, and three-pointer from Mariella Santucci. Buffalo had found themselves trailing 34-27 at the half despite matching the Rockets for almost all of play.

Toledo continued to open the gap when the second half begin, and had a consistent 12 or so point lead until the fourth quarter. A Courtney Wilkins three and back-to-back Mariah Suchan layups brought the game to within eight points with 6:09 left. A Gabi Bade layup minutes later would help close the gap to four but Toledo remained one step ahead of the Bulls to pull out the win from there.

The box score remained relatively identical, but Toledo did better on defense and getting to the charity stripe, pushing past the Bulls. Mariella Santucci did a tremendous job of keeping JoAnna Smith on lockdown from beyond the arc and Stephanie Reid had a tough time finding passing lanes to keep the offense moving in the right direction.

Smith lead the Bulls with 17 points in her final game of MAC competition. Courtney Wilkins, Cassie Oursler, and Stephanie Reid all followed suit with 11, 10, and 10 points respectively.

Buffalo now has to wait and see if there are postseason aspirations for them. At 22-10 overall, the Bulls have a strong case for a WNIT appearance, otherwise they’re a sure lock for a WBI bid should they accept it. Unless either happens, the Bulls will end a very successful season right here.