The women's basketball team marched into its opponent's senior day festivities looking to prove that it could not be shaken by the raucous crowd.
However, the Bulls (13-13, 6-7 Mid-American Conference) could not overcome the rowdy fans and fell to Kent State (18-7, 9-4 MAC), 72-52 on Saturday.
A 39-20 halftime deficit proved to be insurmountable for Buffalo, which put up its second-lowest first-half output of the season. Head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald considered the team's poor first-half performance the deciding factor in the loss.
"The game was lost in the first half," Hill-MacDonald said. "We couldn't find any offensive flow and we couldn't find any defensive cohesion."
The Bulls were a mere two games behind the Golden Flashes at the start of the day. A defeat of Kent State would have been invaluable for the Bulls as the season winds down and MAC tournament seeding is determined.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, Taisja Jones and the Golden Flashes are competing for the same reason. Jones led all scorers with 26 points and had nine rebounds. She shot a perfect 5-for-5 from 3-point range.
"[Jones] just has a cool head about her," Hill-MacDonald said. "She knows what her strengths are. She takes what the defense will give her. She's very athletic, so she gets to the boards. She can hurt you in a lot of different ways."
Buffalo standout senior forward Kourtney Brown played as the rest of her team did in the first half, concluding the opening 20 minutes with only four points. The MAC scoring leader recovered quickly. She finished the game with 18 points and 15 rebounds, despite her second half playing time being limited by foul trouble.
It was obvious that Kent State made slowing Brown its primary focus.
"I think the strategy is going to be from here on out to double Kourtney Brown and take chances with other people," Hill-MacDonald said.
The Golden Flashes' tactic appeared to be justified as no other player stepped up in the scoring column for Buffalo. Senior forward Jessica Fortman, who finished with 10 points, was the only Bull other than Brown to reach double figures.
The Bulls shot a disappointing 31 percent from the floor, while Kent State went 41 percent.
The most glaring statistical disparity came from beyond the arc. Both teams took 16 shots, but the Golden Flashes made eight to the Bulls' two.
The result left Kent State with its fourth victory in a row and Buffalo with its third consecutive loss.
The Golden Flashes' dominance of the Bulls is nothing new, as the all-time series record was extended to 25-3 in favor of Kent State.
The Bulls have two more games in Alumni Arena before the regular season ends. The first is Wednesday night at 7 p.m. against Miami (Ohio).