Buffalo Bulls Women’s Basketball (25-4, 16-2 MAC) begins the final stretch for a second MAC crown in three years today when they take on the #10 Kent State Golden Flashes. The MAC Quarterfinals matchup is a favorable one for the Bulls as they’ve defeated Kent State twice already this season and by margins of 38 and 30 points respectively.
On Monday, Kent State did Buffalo a favor by knocking off #7 Toledo in their own house in an overtime thriller. The Golden Flashes erased an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to buy an extra five minutes and did everything in their power to get to the free throw line and pull out the victory.
But, just because the path is now easier for the Bulls, that doesn’t mean the game’s in the bag. It hasn’t been uncommon for Kent State’s Jordan Korinek to go off for 25-plus points this year. When that happened, Kent State found themselves in much tighter games, including an 88-84 loss to #1-seeded Central Michigan in January.
With that being said, if Buffalo can contain Korinek like they did so well in their previous matchup, it makes an already uphill battle for Kent State an even more strenuous one. UB could also deal a massive blow by locking down the interior, which isn’t a difficult task when you have Cassie Oursler and Summer Hemphill on the roster.
On top of Korinek, Bulls fans should look out for Megan Carter (10.4 ppg) and McKenna Stephens (9.7 ppg). But, they should also take special note of Naddiyah Cross, who put up 20 points in Monday’s matchup and isn’t a stranger to scoring a lot of points in key games.
If I had to pick who comes out on top of this one, it’s Buffalo by a mile. The talent disparity between these two teams is really hard to make up on Kent’s end. UB should easily cruise to a victory, but I do expect Kent to put up some kind of the fight with their season on the line.
Official Bull Run Prediction: Bulls 83 - Kent State 57
Today’s game will begin at around 5:00 p.m. If you can’t make it to Cleveland, you can stream the game on ESPN3 or listen to the very-talented Matt Mattia on ESPN 1520.