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UB's Stephanie Reid welcomes new Buffalo fans with open arms

ALBANY – Go ahead and jump on the University at Buffalo women's basketball bandwagon.

Stephanie Reid said there's plenty of room.

With the Bulls facing defending national champion South Carolina at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday in Albany's Times Union Center, Reid talked a bit about doubters at Friday's press conference. Plenty of people overlooked them when they faced South Florida in the first round.

The Bulls won, 102-79.

They were overlooked again when they faced Florida State in the second round.

The Bulls won, 86-65.

But Reid said it doesn't matter if you're late to the Buffalo Bulls party. She's just happy you showed up.

"We've embraced the role of the underdog," Reid said. "The reigning national champions, they have all the pressure on them. We don't have that pressure. We're just getting to play free and that's pretty exciting. That's what we've been doing the last two games. There was no expectation for us to win. We like that. That's okay.

"You can join us. We welcome you with open arms. After every win, we welcome fans that want to come and support us now. We're not going to turn people away. If you didn't believe in us at first, that's okay. But we're going to keep proving every single day that we're a team that this country should believe in. We are a team that fights for everything we have."

The Bulls averaged 1,486 fans over their 12 games in Alumni Arena this year. The biggest crowd they played in front of was 5,602 at St. John's on Nov. 18. On Saturday, they are expected to play in front of at least 10,000 in Times Union Center.

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