By Associated Press - Thursday, March 10, 2016

CLEVELAND (AP) - Willie Conner scored 25 points, Blake Hamilton grabbed 16 rebounds and defending champion Buffalo advanced to the Mid-American Conference tournament semifinals on Thursday night with a 94-81 win over Miami (Ohio).

The third-seeded Bulls (18-14) made three straight 3-pointers early in the second half to open a 12-point lead and never let the RedHawks (13-20) get closer than seven the rest of the way.

Buffalo will play second-seeded Ohio in Friday’s second semifinal. Top-seeded Akron will face No. 12 seed Bowling Green in the other semifinal.

Conner’s 3-pointer from the left wing with 4:22 left put Buffalo up 81-64. Miami wasn’t done, though, and got within 83-76 before the Bulls put it away at the free-throw line in the final two minutes.

Lamonte Bearden scored 14 and Jarryn Skeete 13 for the Bulls, who won the tournament and an NCAA bid last season before coach Bobby Hurley left for Arizona State.

Dion Wade scored 16 to lead Miami.

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