Kent Slips by Buffalo in MAC Tournament

Updated 3/2/2000
Golden Flashes' All-MAC Trio Leads Team into Semifinals with 71-68 Victory


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    CLEVELAND (March 2, 2000) -- Kent State University's three all-conference selections combined for 49 points to lead the top-seeded Golden Flashes (23-5) to a narrow 71-68 victory over eighth-seeded University at Buffalo (18-11) in the MAC Tournament quarterfinals March 2 at Public Hall.

    MAC Player of the Year Dawn Zerman (Fremont, Ohio/Ross) and second-team All-MAC pick Alana Bader (Kennan, Wis./Phillips) each scored 17 points for Kent. Senior center Julie Studer (Mansfield, Ohio/Lexington), who also earned second-team honors, added 15 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

    Buffalo had tied the game at 58-58 on a Tiffany Bell (Alexandria, Va./Hayfield) layup with 2:39 remaining but the Golden Flashes made eight of 10 free-throw attempts, including six of eight by Zerman, to stave off the Bulls' charge. Kent built its lead to 67-58 with 35 seconds to play and survived another Buffalo rush as the Bulls scored eight points in the final 24 seconds, including a pair of three-point field goals by Mari McClure (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams) in the final five seconds.

    "You saw a good game that certainly was a game of two halves," said Kent Head Coach Bob Lindsay. "We seem to have the ability to win close games. We were fortunate to win the first one (in the tournament) and we'll see what happens from here."

    In the first half, Studer scored the Flashes' first seven points to stake Kent to a 7-2 lead and built the advantage to 34-18 before taking a 34-21 lead at halftime.

    McClure and Tara Perrier (Aurora, Ontario/Aurora) each scored 15 points to lead Buffalo. The pair combined to hit 7-of-13 from three-point range. Bell, a second-team All-MAC selection, had a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds but was held to 4-of-11 shooting from the field.

    With the win, the Golden Flashes extended their winning streak to eight games and have now won 20 of their last 21 games since Dec. 11. Kent advanced to the MAC Tournament semifinals for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons.