Ohio Bobcats win at Buffalo, 74-53

Mark Sears


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BUFFALO, N.Y. – Led by 27 points from sophomore Mark Sears (Muscle Shoals, Ala.), the Ohio men’s basketball team (16-3, 7-1 MAC) returned to action Friday night (Jan. 28), defeating Buffalo (10-8, 4-4) 74-53. 
Buffalo won the tip and scored the first field goal; Ohio quickly evened the score with two points of their own from redshirt fifth year Jason Carter (Johnstown, Ohio). The Bulls pulled ahead, 4-2, but another layup from Carter tied the game before a three-point jumper from junior Miles Brown (Rochester, N.Y) gave Ohio the lead. 
After the game tied, 9-9, the Bobcats responded with an eight-point scoring streak, featuring three points by senior Tommy Schmock (Cleveland, Ohio), to take a 17-9 lead. The Bulls picked up six points in the next two minutes, but the Bobcats tacked on an additional two points to maintain a 19-15 lead heading into the second media timeout. The Bobcats continued to extend their lead, scoring five more points before the Bulls hit a three, putting the score at 24-18. 
Redshirt senior Ben Vander Plas (Ripon, Wis.) and Sears scored the next seven points with a three-pointer from Vander Plas and two free throws and a field goal from Sears. After Carter scored two with 11 seconds left in the period, Sears took advantage of a turnover, scoring one more field goal and giving the Bobcats a 37-20 lead.   
At the half, Ohio shot 42.9 percent from the field, 28.6 percent from three and were 3-for-5 from the line, while Buffalo shot 31 percent from the field and 15.4 percent from three. Ohio out-rebounded Buffalo, 23-19, and had five assists over the Bulls’ two. 
Individually, Carter led Ohio with 12 points and six rebounds. Sears was close behind with nine points, three free throws and six assists while Vander Plas scored eight points with two threes and five rebounds. 
The Bobcats’ momentum continued into the second period, going on a 15-9 run with six points scored by Sears, extending their lead to 52-29.  After Buffalo cut the Bobcats’ lead to 55-38, Sears broke up the Bulls’ streak with a three pointer just before the first media timeout of the half. Freshman AJ Clayton (Duncan Falls, Ohio) picked up three more for the Bobcats, giving them a 61-38 lead over the Bulls with 11:09 left in the game. 
Buffalo cut Ohio’s lead to 61-45 before Brown broke up their seven-point run with a three. After the Bulls scored two more points, the Bobcats bounced back with two field goals, giving them a 67-47 lead with 6:35 remaining. After the last media timeout of the game, both teams hit two free throws each before Brown sunk a three, putting the Bobcats up 72-49. The Bobcats tacked on two more points to the Bulls’ four, solidifying their 74-53 victory. 
Up next, the Bobcats are back in Athens when they host Ball State on Tuesday, February 1. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3 and ESPN+. 


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