Buffalo St. Women Edge Cortland, 54-51, in SUNYAC Quarterfinals

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CORTLAND, N.Y. - Buffalo State's Katie Villarini scored 16 points and Cortland was unable to convert on two attempted game-tying 3-pointers in the closing seconds as the visiting Bengals edged the Red Dragons, 54-51, in the SUNYAC women's basketball tournament quarterfinals.

Buffalo State (13-13), the sixth seed, will face second-seeded Oneonta in the semifinals Friday at Geneseo. Cortland, the third seed, closes its season with a 15-11 record.

Villarini scored 10 of her 16 points in the second half. She also finished with four assists and six rebounds. Liv LeBaron added 12 points and five boards and Caleh McLean totaled nine points and nine rebounds for the Bengals.

Kristy Vitucci (Deer Park) led Cortland with 18 points, including three 3-pointers and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Shana Crespo (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) had 13 points and a nine rebounds, five offensive, and Justine Crespo (Monroe/Monroe-Woodbury) scored eight points and led all players with 12 rebounds. Taylor Miller (Freeport) chipped in with eight points and eight rebounds.

Cortland jumped out to a 9-0 lead in just under four minutes to start the game and led the entire first quarter and more than half of the second. Buffalo State, however, fought back and eventually scored the last five points of the half to take a 28-25 lead.

Cortland was unable to take the lead in the second half, but the Red Dragons did even the score at 43-43 on a Vitucci 3-pointer with 5:43 left in the contest. Cortland was still down only two at 52-50 on a Vitucci layup with 1:22 remaining.

The Red Dragons were able to force a turnover in the backcourt following a timeout, but missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with 48 seconds left. Cortland forced another turnover on a backcourt violation with 35 seconds left, but missed a shot with 23 seconds left that would have tied the game.

Villarini hit two crucial free throws with 14 seconds remaining to put the guests up by four. Miller was fouled on a drive with 10 seconds left and made the first free throw. She missed the second, but Shelby Dugan (Watervliet) was able to grab the offensive rebound. She got the ball to Miller on the left side, but her 3-pointer missed the mark with about five seconds left. Shannon McGuire (West Babylon) grabbed the rebound off that miss and got the ball to Dugan, who missed a long 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Buffalo State held Cortland to 27 percent shooting from the field overall and 17 percent (4-of-23) from the arc. The Bengals shot 32 percent overall and 33 percent (7-of-21) from long distance.