At its best, Buffalo has one of the best defenses in the Mid-American Conference.
The Bulls were most definitely at their best Saturday in beating Kent State 63-47 in the final regular season game. They held KSU to 14 points total in the second and third quarter, forcing 25 Kent State turnovers. The Flashes never really got a chance to run their offense.
The loss sends Kent State (6-22, 3-15) to Eastern Michigan for the first round of the MAC Tournament in a 5 p.m. game Monday. Eastern is 19-10 and 10-8 in the conference and beat the Flashes 72-51 at Eastern in January.
Buffalo held Jordan Korinek, Kent State’s leading scorer, to two points on 1 of 10 shooting through the first three quarters.
“Buffalo is a very physical team, and they were very physical on Jordan when she got the ball,” coach Danny O’Banion said in her postgame radio interview. “It affected her. She lost confidence, and the team lost confidence.”
Korinek, who averages 15.9 points a game, had eight points overall and 12 rebounds. She had four turnovers.
Buffalo held Larissa Lurken, KSU’s second-leading scorer, to just one shot in the first half. Lurken also finished with eight points on 3 of 7 shooting. She had five turnovers.
McKenna Stephens led Kent State with 12 points and eight rebounds, both equalizing season highs.
- Korinek had two blocks, which equaled a career high. (She’s done it five times.) Her 23 percent field goal percentage was worst of the season; her 12 rebounds was second highest of her career.
- Junior College transfer Keziah Lewis had three steals – a career high – in 13 minutes, the most she’s played in five games.
- Buffalo, the MAC’s third-leading rebounding team, outrebounded KSU 43-35. In the first half, the Flashes outrebounded Buffalo 21-15. In the second half, it was Buffalo 28-14. The Bulls had 16 offensive rebounds in the second half.
Tournament seedings and schedule
- No. 9 Bowling Green (6-11 MAC, 10-16 overall) at No. 8 Buffalo (8-10, 16-13).
- No. 12 Miami (3-15, 9-20) at No. 5 Akron (10-7, 16-12).
- No. 10 Northern Illinois (4-14, 11-18) at No. 7 Western Michigan (8-10, 16-14).
- No. 11 Kent State (3-15, 6-22) at No. 6 Eastern Michigan (10-8, 19-10).
Wednesday (at Quicken Loans Arena)
- Bowling Green-Buffalo winner vs. No. 1 Ohio (16-2, 24-5).
- Miami-Akron winner vs. No. 4 Toledo (12-6, 17-12).
- Northern Illinois-Western Michigan winner vs. No. 2 Central Michigan (14-4, 20-9).
- Kent State-Eastern Michigan winner vs. No. 3 Ball State (13-5, 21-8).
- Central Michigan 78, Eastern Michigan 70, at Central.
- Ohio 77, Miami 58, at Miami.
- Western Michigan 64, Northern Illinois 60, at Northern.
- Ball State 68, Toledo 58, at Toledo.
- Akron 71, Bowling Greenn 61, at Akron.