ATHENS, OH - For the second straight Mid-American Conference
road game, the University at Buffalo men's basketball team
ran into a red-hot shooting team, this time dropping a 99-77
decision to Ohio University in the Convocation Center before 10,689
Ohio (10-9) shot 52 percent for the game from the field and 50 percent (11-of-22) from beyond the arc. The Bulls lost despite hitting 13 three-point field goals, including a career-high six by senior point guard John Boyer, who led the Bulls with a career-best 20 points.
The Bobcats, who led by 16 at halftime, took full control of the game early in the second half by connecting on seven of their first eight shots to open up the biggest lead of the game at 66-41 at the 16:17 mark.
Ohio continued to lead comfortably for most of the second half, but after pulling ahead 80-60 with 9:47 remaining, Buffalo went on an 8-0 run, behind treys by Boyer and senior Sean Smiley (18 points) to cut the deficit to 80-68 with 9:08 left. However, a trifecta by Ohio's Tommy Freeman, who had a game-high 27 points, broke the run and Ohio never let the Bulls any closer the rest of the game.
Both teams struggled to find any offensive rhythm early in the game as the Bulls led 6-4 at the first media timeout on three points apiece by Rodney Pierce and Calvin Betts.
Freshman point guard D.J. Cooper (nine points, 11 assists) spurred an 8-0 Bobcat run, coming off the bench to score seven points as Ohio took a 16-8 lead with 12:25 to go in the first. UB's Smiley ended that run with his first trifecta of the game. Ohio used an 11-2 run to open up the half's biggest lead at 33-22 with 4:56 left in the half, forcing Buffalo to use its first timeout.
After the Bulls had trimmed the lead to 38-31 on a Smiley trey and a Pierce bucket, Freeman hit back-to-back long three-point shots to give OU a 44-31 lead with 1:15 left in the half. Ohio went to halftime with a 47-31 lead – its biggest of the half – after a free throw and an Ivo Baltic lay-in with a second left on the clock.
The Bulls also got 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists from Pierce. Buffalo hosts Ball State on Thursday at 7:00 pm at Alumni Arena.