Buffalo women advance to first-ever NCAA Tournament
CLEVELAND (AP) Stephanie Reid banked in a floater at the buzzer in overtime and eighth-seeded Buffalo became the highest seed to win the Mid-American Conference Tournament in a 73-71 victory over No. 2 seed Central Michigan on Saturday for the Bulls' first trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Buffalo (20-13) knocked off top-seeded Ohio and fifth-seeded Akron to reach its first MAC title game.
''Coach (Felisha Legette-Jack) said to me `three seconds is a long time, that's two dribbles and a shot.' And I'm pretty sure I took exactly two dribbles and a shot,'' Reid said. ''Just do what coach says, you know. Got to stick to the game plan.''
Katherine Ups hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Buffalo a 70-67 lead with 2:44 left. She had only taken one 3 in the first four quarters.
Central Michigan freshman Presley Hudson hit two free throws with 3.4 seconds left to tie it at 71. Buffalo inbounded it a midcourt and Reid made history.
Reid finished with 10 points, 12 assists and just one turnover. Joanna Smith hit five 3-pointers and had 23 points for the Bulls.
''I've been coaching for 27 years and this is the first time I've ever as a coach have gone to the NCAA as an assistant coach or head coach,'' Buffalo coach Legette-Jack said. ''I'm just so humbled that this is the right time.''
Tinara Moore led Central Michigan (22-10) with 18 points.
After Reyna Frost made two free throws for Central Michigan with eight seconds left in the first half, Courtney Wilkins sank a long 3-pointer at the buzzer and Buffalo went into the break with a 37-36 lead.
In the third quarter, Hudson hit a 3-pointer to give Central Michigan a 48-46 lead with 2:13 left. But Reid made back-to-back layups to tie it a 50-all. Cassandra Breen added a contested 3 for Central Michigan with 27 seconds left for a 53-50 lead.
Jewel Cotton hit two free throws with 50.6 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 64. Reid missed a contested shot in the lane and after a timeout with 27.8 seconds left, Da'Jourie Turner missed a free-throw line jumper at the buzzer.
Central Michigan was 19 of 20 at the free-throw line but made just 24 of 66 field goals (36 percent).
The Buffalo men's basketball team will play in its second straight MAC championship game on Saturday night for a chance to become the first repeat champion in 14 years.
Buffalo: Only Kent State in 2002 has swept the men's and women's title games in MAC history. It's the eighth time in league history that both teams have reached the title games in the same season.
Central Michigan: The Chippewas were trying to win their first MAC Tournament title since 2013. ... CMU was held to 4-of-16 shooting from distance after making 15 in the semifinals.
Buffalo: NCAA Tournament
Central Michigan: Hoping for women's NIT bid.