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Friday, June 21, 2024
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Bulls drop to tough Kent State team on the road

UB’s playoff seeding is on the line heading into last two games

<p>The Bulls still sit at fourth in the conference, but after a Bowling Green win, the Falcons are now tied with Buffalo and looking to take that fourth spot.&nbsp;</p>

The Bulls still sit at fourth in the conference, but after a Bowling Green win, the Falcons are now tied with Buffalo and looking to take that fourth spot. 

Three Bulls notching double-digit point totals wasn’t enough to stop UB’s (16-11, 9-7 MAC) lost 59-67 to the Kent State Golden Flashes (18-8, 12-3 MAC) on Saturday afternoon at the MAC Center.

The Bulls had a lot to prove going into the game one spot behind the Golden Flashes in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) standings. While both teams have already clinched a playoff berth, better seeding is now on the line, with Kent State sitting at third and Buffalo at three with two games left in both team’s seasons.
The Golden Flashes came out hot, beginning the game on a 11-4 run, forcing an early UB timeout. Redshirt senior guard Chellia Watson found her stroke early to hit a three followed by a floater then another three to bring the Bulls within 1. 

The Bulls were sloppy offensively, with turnovers proving to be a constant issue. Although one of their goals going in was to limit turnovers, they would finish the game with 16 of them. Three of those came in a row after Watson’s three, but the Golden Flashes couldn’t capitalize. The Bulls would trail 13-15 after the first quarter.

Watson continued to carry the Bulls into the second quarter, scoring on the first possession, but Kent State was relentless behind the arc. The Golden Flashes took a 7-point lead after sinking back to back threes before freshman guard Kirsten Lewis-Williams got her first points at the foul line to make the game 20-25. 

Kent State continued their impressive three-point shooting, once again hitting back-to-back threes to take an 11 point lead. Lewis-Williams kept the Bulls in the game with back-to-back buckets that included a three-point play to cut the lead to 25-31. Lewis-Williams stayed aggressive, gathering a steal and a one, which was followed by a last second put back by senior guard Rana Elhusseini. The Bulls would trail 30-35 going into the half. 

UB’s momentum failed to carry into the third, as they went the opening three minutes without a field goal. Lewis-Williams continued to lead the Bulls through the quarter, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Golden Flashes. After a corner three from sophomore forward/guard Hattie Ogden, the Bulls would trail 41-51 going into the fourth. 

Freshman guard Paula Lopez started the fourth quarter off with a three for the Bulls to pull within seven, but the Golden Flashes stayed hot. Later the Bulls would convert on back-to-back trips to the foul line followed by a layup from freshman forward/guard Alexis Davis to bring it to a nine point game. The Bulls failed to dig into the Flashes’ lead and would end up losing 59-67. 

The Bulls were led by Lewis-Williams, who put up 17 points along with five rebounds and five steals. Watson contributed 16 points along with five rebounds. Elhusseini accompanied them with 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists. 

The Bulls still sit at fourth in the conference, but after a Bowling Green win, the Falcons are now tied with Buffalo and looking to take that fourth spot. 

Buffalo’s next game will be played at home against Central Michigan (6-20, 4-12 MAC) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The game can be streamed on ESPN+.

The sports desk can be reached at sports@ubspectrum.com  

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