CLEVELAND-Senior forward Kirsten Olowinski scored a season-high 25 points to lead all scorers, but it was not enough as the sixth-seeded Miami University's women's basketball team (19-12) suffered an 82-70 loss to No. 7 seed Buffalo (12-19) on Wednesday afternoon in the second round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Olowinski also paced the RedHawks with seven boards, while senior guard Courtney Osborn chipped in a game-high six assists and 19 points as the only other RedHawk to score in double figures.
Miami opened the scoring with a 3-pointer from junior guard Hannah Robertson just 14 seconds into the game. A pair of layups by Olowinski handed the RedHawks leads of 7-5 and 9-7. The Bulls staged a 7-0 run over a two-minute stretch to capture a 14-9 advantage by the 13:52 mark, capped by a Sloane Walton 3-pointer.
The RedHawks closed within three, 14-11, off another Olowinski layup, but Buffalo rattled off five unanswered points to push its advantage to eight, 19-11. A junior guard Haley Robertson jumper and an Osborn triple again put the RedHawks within three, 19-16, with 8:37 to go in the half. Buffalo extended its lead to six, 22-16, on the next possession off a triple.
A quick 6-0 Miami spurt that was punctuated by a steal on an out of bounds pass under the Miami bucket by Osborn, who then tossed in a layup, knotted the game, 22-22, with 5:45 to go in the half. The teams went back and forth until freshman guard Maddie McCallie drained a three to hand Miami its first lead since the 15:43 mark, 30-28. The Bulls tied the game off a jumper with 46 seconds to go in the opening half, 30-30, and the teams went to the locker rooms at the half in a deadlock.
Buffalo built a four-point lead by the 14:53 mark, 42-38, but an Osborn 3-pointer at 13:19 shrunk the gap to one, 42-41. The Bulls rattled off five straight points to extend their lead to six with 12:32 to go, 47-41. Miami closed within two off a jumper by Olowinski and a layup from Hannah Robertson, 47-45, but Buffalo again extended its lead to six, 51-45, with 9:51 left. Buffalo continued to further its advantage, building leads of 11 points on three occasions. Two Osborn free throws and a Hannah Robertson jumper after she stole the ball from the Bulls, put Miami within six with 3:35 to go, 67-61.
After trading buckets, Miami chiseled away more at the Buffalo advantage with a pair of free throws by Haley Robertson that put Miami within four, 69-65, with 2:09 to play. Buffalo came down and sunk a triple, but Miami fired right back as Osborn drained a trey with 1:37 to play to make the score 72-68.
Miami was unable to get any closer as the Bulls hit 10-of-12 free throws over the final 1:23 to secure the win.
Mackenzie Loesing led a trio of Bulls to score in double figures with 24 points. UB's Christa Baccas led all players with 15 rebounds.
The RedHawks will now wait to see if they are chosen for a postseaosn tournament. Both the WNIT and WBI will be making their selections on Monday evening.