AMHERST, N.Y. — The Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team clinched a top-four berth in the Mid-American Conference tournament with a 73-63 win Saturday at Buffalo.
The top four teams in the MAC standings receive an automatic bye into at least the third round of the tournament which will be played at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena from March 10 -15.
Alexis Rogers scored 25 points to lead the Falcons (23-3, 13-1 MAC) to their ninth consecutive win, while Erica Donovan added 24 and Jillian Halfhill 13.
Alexus Malone finished with 18 points to lead Buffalo (15-10, 8-6), which also got 13 from Mackenzie Loesing in a game that was much closer than the final score would indicate.
Donovan scored 10 points early as the Falcons led 19-12 with 9:28 left in the period. But the Bulls responded with a 14-7 run to tie the game at 26-all with 3:51 on the clock.
There were three more ties after that point until Rogers’ layup with just nine seconds left lifted BG to a 36-35 halftime advantage.
Rogers and Donovan combined for 31 of the team’s 36 points, with Donovan scoring 18 and Rogers 13. The Falcons also made 7-of-12 attempts from 3-point range, including 4-of-6 shooting from Donovan and a 2-for-2 effort from Rogers.
In the second half there were eight lead changes in the first seven minutes of the period, and neither team led by more than five points until the final four minutes. There were a whopping 21 lead changes in the game.
Buffalo’s Karin Moss made a jumper with 4:20 to play that gave the Bulls a 57-56 lead, but BG took command soon after.
A basket by Rogers with 4:02 on the clock jump-started a 17-7 finish for the Falcons.
Bowling Green scored on 9-of-10 possessions to end the game and made 12 of its last 14 free throws.
Meanwhile Buffalo missed eight straight shots, including four 3-pointers, after the basket by Moss and was 2-for-12 from the field in the final four minutes.