UB women cruise past Kent State, into MAC semis

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Meeting for the second straight year in the Mid-American Conference quarterfinals, the Univeristy at Buffalo women’s basketball team once again made quick work of 5th seeded Kent State with an 85-52 win to advance to the conference semifinals.

The 4th seeded Bulls will now square off against the defending MAC champs from Central Michigan in a title game rematch from a year ago.

The Chippewas, who are the top seed in the conference tournament, needed overtime to dispatch No. 9 Eastern Michigan 88-80 in the quarterfinals.

Last season, CMU defeated UB in the championship 96-91.

Hanna Hall and the Bulls set the tone early, with the sophomore guard opening the game with a 3-pointer to spark an 11-0 run.

Hall scored nine of her 16 points in the second half and put on a near perfect shooting clinic on Thursday, hitting five of her six shots, which included four of her five attempts from beyond the arc.

After Kent State pulled within 11-7, UB’s offense kicked into high gear as Cierra Dillard scored 14 of her 22 in the first half to help power UB to a 41-21 lead.

Even with her jaw-dropping shooting ability, Dillard’s most electric play came in the final seconds of the second quarter.  The senior from Rochester forced a steal, ran down the ball near the Bulls’ hoop and found Summer Hemphill, who finished with 13 points, under the basket for the easy layup as time expired.

With the victory, Buffalo improves to 21-9 overall. Tip-off for Friday’s semifinal game is 11 a.m. at Quicken Loans Arena.

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