Kaylee Bambule capped off an incredible comeback for the Ohio women’s basketball team.
Bambule drilled a 3-pointer with 12 seconds to play, lifting Ohio to an 84-81 victory on Wednesday inside the Convocation Center.
The Bobcats ended the game on an 11-0 run to stun the Bulls.
The biggest shot came from Bambule.
Trailing 81-79, the Ohio defense recorded a turnover to get the ball back with 33 seconds remaining.
The Bobcats attempted to tie the game on Gabby Burris’ layup with 22 seconds left.
It missed, but Burris got the rebound to keep the possession alive.
After a timeout with 19 seconds remaining, Bambule made her 3-pointer on an assist from Cece Hooks to lift Ohio to an 82-81 advantage.
“It was a fun thing to be a part of and this is a fun team to be a part of,” Bambule said. “We’re always there for each other and pick each other up no matter what. It doesn’t matter how much you play. Everybody has each other’s back and that was on display tonight.”
Buffalo used a timeout, but Hanna Hall’s shot on a driving layup missed with under five seconds remaining, with Hooks getting the defensive rebound.
Hooks would put the exclamation point on the dramatic comeback with a layup with just two seconds remaining for the 84-81 margin.
“I thought our kids did a great job of listening,” head coach Bob Boldon said. “We talked a lot about what we wanted to do and they did a great job of executing. The team deserves a lot of credit for the execution. You can just go down the line of players contributing, and it just feels like one of the better team wins we’ve had in a while.”
Hooks led Ohio (7-4, 5-3 Mid-American Conference) with 28 points, making 10 of 19 field goal attempts. She added seven rebounds, six steals and five assists in an overall outstanding effort.
Erica Johnson followed with 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals for Ohio. Burris had 15 points, making all nine of her free throw attempts, to go with eight rebounds.
Madi Mace came off the bench to score double figures, tallying 13 points on the strength of three 3-pointers.
Dyaisha Fair led the Bulls (8-4, 5-2 MAC) with 21 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Adebola Adeyeye had 16 points, Hall tallied 11 points while Elea Gaba and Cheyenne McEvans each scored 10 points. Zena Elias had 13 rebounds.
Buffalo led 22-15 after one quarter, with Ohio fighting back to force a 38-38 tie at halftime. The Bobcats went ahead 56-51 late in the third quarter thanks to Mace’s 3-pointer.
Buffalo ended the quarter with Fair’s 3-pointer, starting an 18-0 run that saw the Bulls lead 69-56 after Fair’s transition layup with 6:53 to play.
The Bobcats still trailed by 13 points with four minutes left — 73-60 — after Adeyeye’s shot in the paint. Buffalo’s lead was still at 79-68 after Fair’s transition basket with just 2:19 left.
The comeback began with Johnson’s 3-pointer, cutting the Bulls’ lead to 79-71 with 1:56 to play.
Buffalo turned the ball over, then Hooks hit a shot in the paint and suddenly Ohio trailed just 79-73 with 1:35 left.
Jazmine Young split a pair of free throws with 1:17 left to push Buffalo’s lead back to 80-73 with 1:17 remaining. Elias split a pair of free throws for the Bulls’ final point with 1:04 left, making it 81-73.
Caitlyn Kroll’s layup allowed Ohio to trail 81-75 with 55 seconds left. The Bulls turned the ball over, and Hooks scored to make it 81-77 with 46 seconds left.
Buffalo turned the ball over again, and Mace would go on to make two free throws for an 81-79 deficit with 34 seconds remaining.
The Bulls finished the game with 23 turnovers.
Ohio now has consecutive wins against two of the top teams in the MAC in Central Michigan and Buffalo.
The Bobcats are a half-game behind Buffalo for third place in the overall conference standings, as the Bulls trail only Kent State (4-0 MAC) and Bowling Green (6-2 MAC) after Wednesday.
Ohio is scheduled to travel to Western Michigan on Saturday for a 12 p.m. tip off. The Broncos are 2-7 overall, and 1-6 in the MAC.