CLEVELAND – One down. Either one or two to go.
The University at Buffalo women's basketball team rolled to a 72-50 victory over Kent State Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference tournament.
The win moved second-seeded UB into a semifinal meeting Friday against either third-seeded Ball State or sixth-seeded Western Michigan.
A UB win in the semifinal would virtually assure it of an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament, regardless of the result of the title game. A win in the final, of course, would bring the MAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Senior point guard Stephanie Reid was the star for UB, scoring 22 points, handing out 11 assists and making five steals.
The win was UB's 10th straight and improved them to 26-4 overall. Kent State ended 13-19.
UB had routed Kent State by 38 and 30 points in regular season. But Kent played a strong first half, slowing the game down with a tight zone defense.
UB took a 32-27 lead into halftime and stretched the edge to 56-35 after the third quarter.
Larceny: UB entered the game ranked ninth in the nation in steals, averaging 10.8 a game. The Bulls had 20 steals in the game, a remarkable total. Kent State made a lot of bad giveaways in the second half.
RPI: UB remained No. 19 in the nation in the Ratings Percentage Index, while Central Michigan is No. 21 and Ball State is No. 38.
Early games: Top-seeded Central Michigan survived a scare by defeating No. 9 seed Eastern Michigan, 67-64. Central Michigan advanced to a semifinal game Friday against No. 5 Ohio, which scored a victory over No. 4 Miami.
Up next: The Bulls' semifinal is at 1:30 p.m. Friday. UB won at Ball State, 84-80, during the season. The Bulls routed Western Michigan by 22.