CLEVELAND, OH – The University at Buffalo women's basketball team scored a season-high 52 second-half points and outscored its opponent by 12 over the final 20 minutes, defeating Miami, 82-70, in the second round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament, Wednesday afternoon at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. With the victory, Buffalo advances to the Quarterfinals where it will meet Akron on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 pm.
The game was tight for much of the afternoon, featuring nine ties and seven lead changes. The Bulls led by as many as eight in the opening half as sophomore Sloane Walton drained a long three pointer with 11:07 left. Miami, which never led by more than three on the afternoon, was able to tie it up and the two teams went into the break tied at 30-30.
The second half was a different story as the Bulls scored 52 points on 15-of-28 shooting, led by freshman Mackenzie Loesing, who scored 19 of her career-high 24 points in the second half. The RedHawks were up one just four minutes into the second half when junior Margeaux Gupilan put the Bulls up for good with a huge three pointer.
Miami seniors Courtney Osborn and Kirsten Olowinski tried to keep the RedHawks in the game as they combined for 44 of the team's 70 points. The Bulls led by two at 47-45 when they went on a 12-4 run, opening a 59-49 lead with 5:58 left. The Bulls led by as many as 11 when Miami closed to within four with 1:37 left, but two free throws from Loesing opened a 10-2 run to end the game.
"I am just so proud of these players," said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. "Everybody stepped up in one way or another this afternoon and we are going to enjoy it for a little bit and then get ready for Akron tomorrow afternoon."
Loesing led the way with a career-best 24 points, going 3-for-5 from behind the arc and adding three rebounds and three steals. Redshirt sophomore Kristen Sharkey added 14 points and eight rebounds, while Gupilan had 13 points, going 6-for-7 from the free throw line and adding four assists.
Sophomore Christa Baccas had a monster day on the boards, tying her career-high with 15 rebounds, including nine in the second half. Baccas added eight points, four blocks and two steals. She was one of three UB players to finish with eight points joining Walton and Cherridy Thornton.
Miami was led by 25 points from Olowinski and 19 from Osborn, who had a game-high six assists.
The trip for UB to the Quarterfinals is their first since 2011 and the two victories in this year's tournament tie for a program best since joining the conference.