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AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron women's basketball team suffered an 81-55 Senior Night setback to Buffalo (20-8, 10-7 MAC) on Wednesday night, March 1, at James A. Rhodes Arena.
The Zips honored their three seniors, Hannah Plybon (Orrville, Ohio), Alex Ricketts (Mercer, Pa.) and Brittany Gordon (South Charleston, W. Va.) before the contest for their distinguished careers donning the Akron uniform.
Plybon led the Zips (9-19, 2-15 MAC) with 22 points and five rebounds, while Ricketts followed with an 11-point and five-rebound performance. Freshman Shayna Harmon (Ashville, Ohio) scored seven points off the bench and freshman Shaunay Edmonds (Pittsburgh, Pa.) registered a game-high five assists and four steals.
The Buffalo tandem of JoAnna Smith and Stephanie Reid combined to score 51 points, tallying 31 and 20 points, respectively. Reid added seven rebounds and four assists, while Cassie Oursler chipped in 12 points and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
For the contest, the Zips shot 30.6 percent (20-of-66) from the field and connected on 35 percent (7-of-20) of their shots from behind the arc. The Bulls hit 49.2 percent (30-of-61) of their attempts and knocked down 43.5 percent (10-of-23) of their three-point attempts.
Buffalo parlayed 14 Akron turnovers into 17 points and outscored the Zips, 34-20, inside the paint. Akron collected five more offensive rebounds than the Bulls on the evening, but Buffalo held a total rebounds advantage of 41-37.
The Bulls opened the contest on an 11-2 run, before Plybon answered with a triple to cut the Akron deficit to six, 11-5, with 6:30 to play in the opening stanza. Plybon connected again from the corner to bring the Zips within three points, 11-8, at the first media timeout of the quarter.
Edmonds converted a transition layup to cut the Bulls lead to just two, 12-10, with three minutes to play, but Buffalo responded with another outside shot to take a 15-10 lead. After one period of play, the Bulls maintained a 17-10 advantage.
Both teams struggled to find the bottom of the basket to begin the second quarter, but a quick five-point swing propelled Buffalo to a 22-10 lead with six minutes left to play in the half.
Plybon ended the seven-minute scoring drought for the Zips with a layup and Ricketts converted a three-point play to make the score 34-17 in favor of Buffalo with three minutes remaining in the half. The Bulls used a 6-2 run over the final minutes of the opening 20 minutes to take a 40-19 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Plybon started the third quarter scoring for the Zips, burying a corner triple to go along with freshman Haliegh Reinoehl (Westfield, Indiana) collecting an offensive rebound and converting the ensuing layup.
Junior Greta Burry (Lakewood, Ohio) collected two consecutive offensive rebounds for Akron, and Plybon continued her scoring ways with a pair of free throws to make the score 49-31.
Redshirt sophomore Megan Sefcik (Austintown, Ohio) nailed her first triple of the game to close out the third quarter with the Bulls maintaining a 54-36 advantage.
Harmon delivered on a triple from the top of the key to cut the Akron deficit to 15, 56-41, and Ricketts followed with back-to-back baseline jumpers to bring Akron within 13, 58-45, with seven minutes remaining.
At the 5:47 mark in the fourth quarter, Plybon connected on a corner triple, which moved her into a tie with former Bowling Green standout Lauren Prochaska for third place all-time in the Mid-American Conference women's basketball history with 310 career three-pointers.
Plybon's triple with 2:38 remaining moved her into sole possession of third-place for career three-pointers made in the MAC.
With two minutes to play in the contest, Plybon converted two free throws, but the Bulls maintained a 74-53 advantage.
The Bulls used a 7-2 run over the final two minutes of the contest to secure the victory.
The Zips will return to action on Saturday, March 4, when they travel to Athens, Ohio, to take on Ohio to finish the 2016-2017 regular season campaign. Game time at the Convocation Center is set for 2 p.m.