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Ohio Bobcats Shock Buffalo, Make Case For Top 25 Ranking

Undefeated this late in the season, and now with a signature win

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Albany Regional-Buffalo vs South Carolina Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio Bobcats traveled to Buffalo to take on a very good Bulls team. Going into the game, the Bobcats were 11-0, but relatively untested. The Bulls were 8-3, with two of those losses coming to power houses Oregon and Stanford.

In the first half, Buffalo build a double digit lead, keeping the Bobcat offense mostly in check. With super star Cierra Dilliard missing minutes because of foul trouble, the Bulls faithful should have gone into the second half feeling pretty good about themselves.

In the second half, the Ohio offense came to life, forcing overtime. In the extra period, the Bobcats stayed hot, taking home a 74-71 victory.

The Bulls will be regretting their 29 turnovers. Dilliard was held to 15, under 20 for the first time this season, and well below her 25.4 points per game, which was second in the nation.

With the win, the Ohio moved to 12-0. More importantly, they are only one of three teams that remain unbeaten in the country. Coming into the game, the Bulls were ranked 55th in the country in RPI, while the Bobcats were ranked 62nd. However, RPI is not everything, as Buffalo looks much like the team that made the sweet 16 last season. This was a quality win that should open some eyes.

While I doubt the Bobcats get ranked, I do believe they will pick up a few votes in the polls with this tough, hard fought road win. Up next for the Bobcats are the Central Michigan Chippewas, who are currently receiving votes. The Chippewas dispatched a solid Akron team by 23 points today. If Ohio can knock off Central Michigan, I will be shocked if they are not in the top 25, given the two defeated conference foes’ run in last year’s NCAA tournament.

Even if they do not garner national attention, this Bobcats team is setting up for a special run the next few years. 5 Bobcats average double digits in points, with 4 of them returning next season. The top 2 Ohio leading scorers are only sophomores. CeCe Hooks leads the team with 16.9 points per game, and also dishes 4.7 dimes, while grabbing 4.8 rebounds. She hits 58% of her shots from the floor. Second leading scorer Gabby Burris averages 15.8 points per game. Dominique Doseck is the senior, and she hits amazing 45% of her threes, and she shoots 6.7 per. She will be missed next season, however junior Amani Burke is averaging 12.9 points per, and hits 42% of her threes, which will lesson that blow. This might be Ohio’s year, but even if this team does not knock off a great Central Michigan team, or fail to make the rankings if they do, I do believe a top 25 ranking is in the cards in the near future.