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Buzzer-beater puts Buffalo in NCAAs for first time

CLEVELAND — Stephanie Reid banked in a floater at the buzzer in overtime, and eighth-seeded Buffalo became the lowest seed to win the Mid-American Conference tournament with 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 taken only one 3 in regulation.

Central Michigan freshman Presley Hudson hit two free throws with 3.4 seconds left to tie it at 71. Buffalo inbounded it at midcourt to set up Reid's shot.

Reid finished with 10 points, 12 assists and 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 … gone to the NCAAs 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.

BIG SKY: Freshman Mikayla Ferenz scored 18 and Idaho (24-9) beat Idaho State 67-55 in Reno, Nev., to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years.

BIG WEST: Ashleigh Karaitiana scored 17 and made five 3-pointers as Hawaii (21-10) throttled UC Davis 78-59 in Anaheim, Calif., for its sixth NCAA Tournament berth and first since 1998.

COLONIAL: James Madison won its third straight conference championship, getting 19 points from Jazmon Gwathmey in a 60-46 victory over Drexel in Upper Marlboro, Md. The Dukes (27-5) will bring a 20-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament.

MEAC: Christina Carter scored 14 and North Carolina A&T (19-11) took control early and rolled to a 65-46 victory over Coppin State in Norfolk, Va., to head to its third NCAA Tournament and first since 2009.

PATRIOT: Kelsey Minato had 25 points to help host Army (29-2) beat Loyola, Md., 69-51 and make its second trip to the NCAA Tournament in the past three seasons. The Black Knights went in 2014, their first appearance since 2006 when Maggie Dixon led them to the NCAAs.

SUN BELT: Ashley Beverly Kelley scored with 20.2 seconds left and Caitlyn Ramirez blocked a layup with one second left as Troy (20-12) shocked defending champion Arkansas Little Rock 61-60 in New Orleans to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history.

SWAC: Britney Wright had 17 points and 11 rebounds as Alabama State (19-11) advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year with a 55-51 win over Southern in Houston. The Hornets never trailed but saw a 16-point lead early in the second half cut to two with a minute left.

WAC: Freshman Brooke Salas scored 20, Sasha Weber added 16 and New Mexico State (26-4) cruised to an 80-53 victory over Texas Rio Grande Valley in Las Vegas to advance to its second straight NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Tournament automatic bids

Women

Alabama State SWAC

Albany (NY) America East

Army Patriot

Baylor Big 12

Belmont Ohio Valley

Buffalo MAC

Chattanooga Southern

Colorado State Mountain West

Connecticut AAC

George Washington Atlantic 10

Hawaii Big West

Idaho Big Sky

Iona MAAC

James Madison Colonial

Maryland Big Ten

Middle Tennessee C-USA

New Mexico State WAC

North Carolina A&T MEAC

Notre Dame ACC

Oregon State Pac-12

Penn Ivy

St. John's Big East

San Francisco West Coast

South Carolina SEC

South Dakota State Summit

Troy Sun Belt

Buzzer-beater puts Buffalo in NCAAs for first time 03/12/16 [Last modified: Saturday, March 12, 2016 10:57pm]
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