Hall scores 24 as Kent State dethrones 2-time champ, Buffalo

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Jimmy Hall scored 24 points including the last two at the free throw line as Kent State held off Buffalo 68-65 in a squeaker of a Mid-American Conference quarterfinal on Thursday night, ending Buffalo's two-year reign as MAC Tournament champions.

The Golden Flashes (20-13), winners in eight of their last nine games, advance to play Ohio (20-10), the MAC second seed, in the semifinals on Friday.

Kent State was nursing a 66-65 lead and was awarded possession after a loose-ball scramble, and the Bulls fouled Hall with 12.9 seconds left. The senior, who now has 1,600 career points, made both. Hall scored 19 after halftime and finished 12 of 14 at the foul line.

After a timeout, Buffalo (17-15) inbounded in front of its bench with 8.9 seconds left but CJ Massinburg's 3 at the buzzer went wide. Blake Hamilton, one of three Bulls to foul out, led with 17 points. Massinburg had 15.

Deon Edwin scored 14 points with 11 rebounds for Kent State, which opened the MAC Tournament with a 116-106 overtime win.

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