CLEVELAND -- With an offense that was just plain bad in the first half the University at Buffalo bowed out of the Mid-American Conference tournament Monday.
All Big 4 women's teams are now out of the postseason with only Canisius getting a first-round win -- and they played Niagara.
The Bulls did make a solid comeback in the second half with seniors Stephanie Bennett and Heather Turner willing the team back into the game. Had the offense worked like that in the first half -- driving to the basket, setting effective screens and establishing the post players -- UB likely would have been playing in Tuesday's quarterfinal.
But in the end, Toledo was a shot better for the 53-50 win.
The good news for the Bulls -- their defense is pretty darn tough. Consider that Toledo averaged 79 points in its last two regular season games.
The offense needs tweaking for next year especially with the loss of Bennett and Turner. But the future looks bright with the emergence of freshmen Jessica Fortman as a starting forward and Tieara Jones as a solid guard. Buffalo will also get back two starters -- Kourtney Brown and Rachelle Matthys -- who missed the entire season with injuries.
Still, the future seems far away when a favorable bracket would have put the Bulls in position to make its deepest run ever in the MAC tourney - if they only could have made a shot in the first half.
--- Amy Moritz