BUFFALO, NY – Turnovers cost the University at Buffalo men's basketball team in a 65-64 loss to Manhattan in a Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters matchup at Alumni Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Despite shooting 55 percent from the field, including 10-of-15 from beyond the arc, and outrebounding the Jaspers, 33-21, the Bulls couldn't overcome 24 turnovers that led to 29 Manhattan points.
"We just didn't take care of the basketball," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "When you shoot 21-of-38, you should win and we didn't. When you shoot 55 percent and they shoot 42, typically you should win, but we didn't take care of the basketball."
Tony Watson continued his torrid shooting, knocking down a career-best seven three-pointers on 10 attempts and finishing with a game-high 24 points. The senior guard has now made 19-of-28 three-pointers over the last three games – a scorching 68 percent.
Javon McCrea notched his ninth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The junior forward also had a career-high six blocked shots and three steals.
Jarryn Skeete dished out a career-best 10 assists to go along with 11 points for his first career double-double.
Buffalo (11-16) was cruising early as it jumped out to a 7-0 lead and led by as many as 10 points in the first half. The Jaspers finished the half on a 9-2 scoring run to close the gap to 36-33 at the break. 21 of Manhattan's 33 first-half points came off turnovers as the Jaspers caused UB to cough the ball up 18 times in the first stanza.
Manhattan (11-16) carried the momentum into the second half. With the Bulls leading, 38-33, The Jaspers mounted a 16-2 scoring run to take a 49-40 lead with 13:50 left.
Manhattan wouldn't relinquished the lead, but not without a fight from the Bulls. Shane Richards hit a jumper to give Manhattan a 63-56 lead with 4:35 left in the game. That would be the last field goal the Jaspers would hit. McCrea scored five straight points for the Bulls to cut the lead to 65-61. Watson then connected on his seventh three-pointer with 42 seconds left to cut the Manhattan lead to 65-64.
Buffalo got the stop it needed defensively when Richards missed a jumper and McCrea pulled in the rebound. However, with 11 seconds left and no timeouts, UB pushed the ball up the court, but Watson was stripped going up for a shot and Skeete's off-balanced jumper at the buzzer was off the mark.
Buffalo gets right back into conference play when it plays at Kent State on Wednesday night.