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Hot-Shooting Buffalo Tops Bobcats, 84-77

Feb. 21, 2006

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ATHENS, Ohio - Rachel Frederick had a career night on the glass and in the scoring column, but Buffalo torched the Bobcats from behind the arc, defeating Ohio 84-77 Tuesday in The Convo.

Frederick (Gibsonia, Pa.) matched a career-high with 27 points and set a career-best with 15 boards in 40 minutes of action. It was her sixth-career double-double and second in as many games. But the Bulls were too much from the outside, hitting 12-of-17 attempts (70.6 percent) from three-point range to bury any significant Ohio runs.

Ohio (7-18, 4-10 Mid-American Conference) had three players in double figures, getting 15 from Ciara Iglehart (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and 20 from Simone Redd (Warrensville Heights, Ohio), who is still recovering from an ankle injury that sidelined her for three weeks. The Bobcats dominated Buffalo on the glass, with a 43-32 advantage, but the Bulls were proficient from the field (47.3 percent) and from the stripe (76.9 percent), in addition to their night from three-point land.

Buffalo (9-16, 4-10 MAC) was led by four players in double figures, paced by Brooke Meunier's 23. Meunier hit three three-pointers, as did Stephanie Bennett, who scored 13. Flynn Pyykkonen matched Bennett's 13 and Heather Turner kicked in 20 with six rebounds.

The lead switched hands 13 times in a see-saw battle, with Ohio leading as late as the 14:20 mark of the second half. The Bobcats trailed by a bucket at the half and kept the deficit under 10 for the first 14 minutes of the second frame. After shooting 62.5 percent from behind the arc in the first half, though, Buffalo went 7-of-9 (77.8 percent) in the second half to seal the victory.

The Bobcats fell behind early, 12-4, just more than four minutes into the first half. Thanks to Frederick, though, that changed quickly. Frederick scored Ohio's next 10 points, all within less than two minutes, to tie the score at 14 with 13:44 left in the half.

From there, Ohio would go on to lead by six at the 10:02 mark, but the Bulls went on to tie the game in the final few minutes of the half. The Bobcats regained the lead, 30-29, with 2:25 remaining in the half. Buffalo responded with its fifth three-pointer of the half to take a two point edge, 32-30, into the locker room.

At the break, Frederick led all scorers with 13 points and eight boards. Iglehart kicked in six for the Cats. Ohio shot 38.2 percent from the floor and 50 percent from behind the arc. The Bobcats outrebounded Buffalo 22-17--including grabbing eight boards on the offensive end.

Pyykkonen paced the Bulls with 10 points and five rebounds at intermission. Turner chipped in seven with four boards. Buffalo shot 41.9 percent from the floor and 62.5 percent from behind the arc. The Bulls received nearly half of their scoring output from behind the three-point line.

Ohio jumped out to a 6-0 run to open up the second half, taking back the lead in the opening minutes. The game was tied three more times in the next several minutes, until Ohio used a Redd layup to go ahead 47-45 with 14:20 left. As it would turn out, that would be the last lead Ohio would own.

Over the last 15 minutes, Buffalo hit four triples to negate any Ohio chance at a comeback.

Despite the loss, Ohio remains in the hunt to host a first-round MAC Tournament game in The Convo. Three teams--Ohio, Buffalo and Miami--are fighting for the East Division's two MAC Tournament home games. With two regular season games left, the Bobcats and Bulls share a 4-10 league mark. After a Tuesday loss to Akron, Miami sits a game back at 3-11.

Next up for the Cats is the home regular season finale. Ohio will face No. 25 Bowling Green Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Convocation Center.