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Buffalo shakes up MAC tourney, shocks top-seeded Ohio

If there was one team the Ohio Bobcats didn't want to face, it was the Buffalo Bulls. Ohio only had two losses in conference play--both to Buffalo. The conference tournament brings a different mentality, yer for the Bulls, they had no change in mindset when it came to this opponent but to compete and hopefully beat them again. Wednesday afternoon that is exactly what happened.

Photo by the MAC

Cleveland, OH -- It's officially a streak.

"Today our young ladies decided that their time is now," University of Buffalo coach Felisha Legette-Jack said.

Charging into the Mid-American Conference quarterfinals, the University of Buffalo Bulls upset the top-seeded Ohio University Bobcats 72-60 on Wednesday afternoon at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to collect their third straight win. The victory also marked the No. 8-seeded Bulls' (18-13, 9-10 MAC) third win this season against the Bobcats (24-6, 16-3 MAC).

"It was all about survive and advance from the get-go," Buffalo guard Joanna Smith said.

Incidentally, Ohio's only MAC losses throughout its 2015-16 campaign came at the hands of Buffalo. The Bulls, on the other hand, climbed one game closer to .500 among conference competition.

The Bobcats finished out the regular season with their second-straight outright MAC title, following a 75-58 defeat of Bowling Green. However, the magic ended there. Taking a first-round bye as the No. 1 seed, Ohio was overwhelmed in the third period and dropped its first tournament game to Buffalo.

The Bulls stampeded into the first quarter and took an early lead it never relinquished. The Bobcats managed to knot the contest twice; however, never captures the advantage. Buffalo enjoyed a 14-10 edge by the beginning of the second period and jumped ahead by as many as seven points in the first period.

Reeling from the opening 10 minutes, Ohio regained composure and grabbed momentum. The Bobcats managed to rally to a seven-point lead with 4:34 remaining before the intermission, but the Bulls answered and only allowed Ohio to take a slight 29-28 lead by halftime.

After a quiet first quarter, Quiera Lampkins found her footing and scored 11 points in the second period to lead the Bobcats attack.

Following the break, Buffalo continued to generate more offense and outscored Ohio 24-18 to take a 52-47 lead with one-quarter remaining.

To that point, Smith led the Bulls with 19 points and nine rebounds, scoring nine in the third quarter. By the end of the game, she led the team adding one more rebound for a double-double.

Joining Smith in double figures, Stephanie Reid and Cassie Oursler finished the game with 16 and 15 points, respectively. The pair combined for 15 of Buffalo's 20 in the fourth quarter to close the game out and grab the win.

Oursler got hot with 10 points in the final period, while Reid came through with five points. The Bulls outscored the Bobcats 20-13 over the last 10 minutes and led by 18 points with just under a minute in the game.

After struggling to reach 30 percent effectiveness from the field before halftime, the Bulls shot 56.3 percent from the field in the third quarter and bettered that to 63.6 percent in the fourth quarter as a team. They shot 43.1 percent on the game, while the Bobcats managed 38.5 percent efficiency.

Lampkins led Ohio with 23 points along with Lexie Baldwin and Kiyanna Black, whom each tallied 11 points.