Big Second Half Propels Bulls to Quarterfinal Win over Kent State, 72-50

Big Second Half Propels Bulls to Quarterfinal Win over Kent State, 72-50

CLEVELAND, OHStephanie Reid and Cierra Dillard combined for 38 points to help lead the second-seeded University at Buffalo women's basketball team to a 72-50 win over 10th-seeded Kent State in the quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Thursday. It was the Bulls' 10th straight win and advanced them to the Friday's semifinals.

Buffalo got off to a sluggish start and actually trailed 16-14 at the end of the first quarter. The Bulls trailed 23-21 with 7:02 left in the second quarter, but finished the half on an 11-4 run to take a 32-27 at the break. After the Golden Flashes cut the UB lead to 32-31 early in the second half, the Bulls kicked it into high gear, going on a 24-4 scoring run to take a 56-34 lead into the fourth quarter.

Defense spurred the third-quarter run as the Bulls tallied seven steals in the third quarter alone and had 20 for the game. The Bulls scored 41 points off turnovers and had 16 fast-break points. Buffalo held Kent State to just 23 second-half points.     

Reid had 22 points, 11 assists and five steals in the game. It was the senior guard's seventh double-digit assist game of the season and fifth double-double. Her backcourt mate Dillard stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, a career-high nine rebounds, four assists and five steals. The junior guard knocked down four three-pointers.

Autumn Jones was a spark off the bench for the Bulls with 11 points, seven of which came in the second half. Cassie Oursler was hampered with early foul trouble and scored all seven of her points in the second half and added five rebounds and three steals.

"It's kind of personal for us to go out there for a couple reasons, because when you felt that disappointment way back in March of last year, we just want to rectify it," head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. "It's not about the opponent, it's about us and our locker room and what we think we are capable of doing."

The Bulls will next play the winner of the Ball State/Western Michigan game in the semifinals on Friday afternoon.