Turnover-Prone Bulls Fall at Ohio, 60-52
ATHENS, OH - Despite holding its opponent to just 32 percent from the floor, the Buffalo men's basketball team (8-5, 1-1 MAC) could not overcome its 23 turnovers in a 60-52 loss at Ohio (13-3, 1-1 MAC) Wednesday evening. The Bobcats cruised to a 12-0 lead in the first five and a half minutes and would never trail as the Bulls found itself in foul trouble early and often and could not find a rhythm on offense. Mitchell Watt was the only Bull in double figures, leading all scorers with 18 and also adding a career-high 12 rebounds.
Three early triples from Ohio's Nick Kellogg forced a quick timeout from UB, and the Bobcats would hold the visitors scoreless until the 14:21 mark. The game then evened out, as Ohio also could not seem to find the bottom of the net. The game fluxed back and forth, with Ohio getting the lead back up to as high as 11 after the initial run, and Buffalo was able to cut it to four numerous times but could not put together runs due to constant turnovers, a total of 11 in the first half.
The Bobcats took a modest 31-25 lead into the half, but the halftime numbers told a story that would prevail throughout the second half as well. Ohio outrebounded Buffalo 25-16 in the first half (including 11 offensive rebounds) and, more importantly, drew 15 fouls that sat down Javon McCrea, Dave Barnett, Titus Robinson and Watt for expansive stretches of the half.
As the second half got underway, Buffalo was able to draw within three points, 33-30, with 15:07 remaining. Turnovers were the blockade to keep the team from getting any closer from there on out, with the Bobcats turning it on for an 11-0 run to claim a double digit lead it would use to eventually kill the clock. Buffalo put together an 8-1 run as the game drew to a close, arguably its best stretch that came too late to make a difference.
For the game, Ohio held a 42-39 rebounding advantage (and a 17-10 advantage on the offensive glass) and kept the Bulls' outside threat in check. Zach Filzen went 0-4 from the field and the team as a whole went 2-12 from three. Aside from Watt's performance, Titus Robinson continued his exemplary bench play with nine points and seven rebounds. Despite having three players with 12 points or more, Ohio struggled even more than Buffalo from the field but took advantage of 27 free throw attempts and Kellogg's four three pointers.
The team will have little time to regroup, as it now heads West to Oxford for a Saturday matchup with Miami (OH). The Redhawks fell to 4-10 (0-2 MAC) after dropping a 71-67 road contest to Kent State on Wednesday. The 6 pm game will be broadcasted on Sports Time Ohio, and fans can also tune in to Josh Whetzel's call on 1230 WECK.