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Ohio’s Gabby Burris (41) battles to the hoop in Ohio’s game against Buffalo on Saturday, February 29. (Evann Figueroa/WOUB)

Ohio Women’s Basketball: Buffalo leaves Athens with win over Bobcats

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ATHENS, Ohio — In a 63-61 game, CeCe Hooks stole the Buffalo inbound in front of the scorer’s table with 6.6 seconds left.  Hooks took the ball down court and attempted a layup.

The ball sat on the rim for a second and fell out.

Peyton Guice gathered the offensive rebound and was fouled with 0.7 seconds left.   The freshman, with only two minutes of playing time in the game, had to make both free throws to send the game to overtime.

The first one was nothing but net.  The second hit the rim and was rebounded by Buffalo.

As the final horn sounded, Erica Johnson and the rest of the Bobcats gathered around Guice trying to cheer her up.

“I talked to her immediately after the game because she had her face in her hands and was really upset,” Ohio senior guard Amani Burke said.  “I pulled her to the side and said ‘We shouldn’t even have put you in that position.  That’s a lot of pressure’.”

The missed layup and free throw was the least to blame for Ohio’s (17-10, 10-6 MAC) 63-62 loss to Buffalo on Saturday at the Convocation Center.

The Bobcats struggled to rebound the basketball.  Ohio was outrebounded by Buffalo, 44-30, and allowed 15 offensive rebounds.

“I thought our initial defense was pretty good,” head coach Bob Boldon said.  “We were able to force some pretty tough shots and were unable to get in there and get rebounds.  It’s certainly something we need to do better.”

Ohio had trouble stopping Dyaisha Fair and Adebola Adeyeye all game long.  Both players were just a rebound shy of a double-double.  Adeyeye led the Bulls with 16 points.

“Adeyeye did a good job right from the beginning of the game,” Boldon said.  “She really imposed her will on us.  I thought she was really aggressive.  Not only did she almost have a double-double but she was 8-of-11, so she wasn’t missing a whole lot of shots.”

The Bobcats carried a ten-point lead at one point in the third quarter, but Buffalo went on a 12-0 run to tie the game at 49 after three quarters.

“If we hold them to 14 or 15 (points), Peyton’s shooting free throws to put us up three, four or five as opposed to trying to tie it.”

Overall, Buffalo shot just under 41 percent from the field and was 3-of-20 from three-point range.

Ohio’s offense had four players in double figures.  Gabby Burris and CeCe Hooks each had 16 points.  Erica Johnson and Amani Burke both scored 13 points.

“This was more of the way I thought our team would look where we would have four players in double figures on a regular basis,” Boldon said.  “This is more of the way I envisioned us looking like, obviously a better rebounding team.”

The Bobcat currently hold the third seed in the MAC with two games left to play.

Ohio will face another 10-6 team on Wednesday night — the Kent State Golden Flashes — for the top of the MAC East division.  Ohio defeated Kent State, 63-57, on Feb. 8 at The Convo.  Tip-off from the M.A.C. Center is set for 7 p.m.