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Loesing’s career night not enough as UB women’s basketball falls to Ohio

Buffalo loses 78-70 against the No. 1 team in the MAC

loesing

Mackenzie Loesing had eight games of 20+ points last season. She’s had had only three so far this season.

But Loesing, a junior guard on pace to be the women’s basketball team’s all-time leading scorer, broke through for a career-high 32 points Wednesday night.

It was still not enough for Buffalo to defeat the No. 1 team in the Mid-American Conference: Ohio.

The Bulls (15-11, 8-7 MAC) were defeated by Ohio (22-4, 13-2 MAC) 78-70 Wednesday night in Athens, Ohio. Buffalo remains at No. 3 in the MAC East, but have now lost two in a row after previously winning six of seven.

Head coach Felisha Legette-Jack thought her team “played well and fought hard in a tough atmosphere.”

“We have an environment similar to theirs,” Legette-Jack said. “But we stayed strong out there.”

Loesing had four rebounds and two assists to go along with her career-high 32 points.

“Loesing did a tremendous job fighting back in the second half,” Legette-Jack said. “She really competed from start to finish.”

Ohio held only a slight advantage in field goal percentage and 3-point shooting, and Buffalo held the advantage in rebounds (40 to 33), but the Bulls also had eight more turnovers than the Bobcats with 27 for the night. Ohio scored 25 points off of Buffalo turnovers.

The Bobcats only shot 66 percent from the free-throw line, but still held the advantage over Buffalo (19 to 18) in points from the charity stripe by getting to the line 28 times.

Buffalo took a 19-18 lead with eight minutes left in the first half, but it would be the last time it led in the game. Ohio went on a 31-9 run – and had a 31-24 halftime lead – for a 21-point lead over the Bulls with 13 minutes left in the second half

But it was Buffalo that got things going offensively after that, and as it then went on a 20-2 run – including 13 unanswered points – to cut it to just a three-point deficit with a little under eight minutes left. Sophomore guard Joanna Smith and sophomore forward Alexus Malone combined for 11 points during the 20-2 run.

But Ohio would maintain control of the lead for the remainder of the game.

Senior forward Kristen Sharkey had 18 points, three assists and brought down nine rebounds.

“Sharkey was one of the best players out there,” Legette-Jack said. “She went right to the boards fearlessly.”

Loesing and Sharkey combined for 50 of Buffalo’s 70 points on the night.

The Bulls cannot catch Ohio for the top spot in the MAC East – a spot they were predicted to finish before the season – but can still catch Akron (20-6, 10-5 MAC) for the No. 2 spot. Buffalo hosts Akron (20-6, 10-5 MAC) on Saturday in the third last game of the regular season.

“Right now we're really going to concentrate on what we did well and try to build off of that,” Legette-Jack said. “We’re gonna get back to the grind, watch some film, and fix what we've done tonight.”

Saturday’s tipoff in Alumni Arena is set for 2 p.m.

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