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BUFFALO, N.Y. – Despite a career-high 24 points from senior guard Miles Brown (Rochester, N.Y.), the Ohio men’s Basketball team (8-6, 0-1 MAC) opened Mid-American Conference play Tuesday night (Jan. 3), falling to Buffalo (7-7, 1-0 MAC), 77-72, inside Alumni Arena.
“I thought we got off to the start that we wanted to on the road,” head coach Jeff Boals said. “I thought we really battled. Obviously, giving up 20 offensive rebounds on the road hurt you and the 14 turnovers hurt you and those were two big keys coming into the game. Every time we got to five points, it seemed like we were right there, and then we’d miss a blockout or rebound or loose ball. But give our guy’s credit, they kept fighting. Two big time plays; AJ Clayton had a big three. We executed the play out of the timeout really well and got a great look at the tie. When you go on the road in this league, every possession matters and we’ll learn from it.”
Overall, Ohio shot 37.5 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three and were 17-of-23 from the line, while Buffalo shot 37 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from three and were 13-of-25 from the line. Buffalo out-rebounded the Bobcats, 52-46, including 20 offensive rebounds. Buffalo dished out 15 assists to Ohio’s five, while the Bulls forced 14 turnovers.
Individually, Miles Brown led with 24 points and six rebounds, while going 7-of-16 from the field, 4-of-7 from three and was 6-of-6 from the line. Junior guard Jaylin Hunter (Manchester, Conn.) added 10 points, while graduate student forward Dwight Wilson III (Tallahassee, Fla.) scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Freshman guard AJ Brown (Orlando, Fla.) also scored eight points for Ohio.
Buffalo on the tip and opened the game with the first basket. However, Ohio responded with a 9-0 run that was helped by a layup from Hunter and a three from Miles Brown. After UB cut the Ohio lead to 9-4, a three from Hunter put Ohio up 12-4 early. However, Buffalo then went on a 7-0 run to cut the Ohio lead to 12-11 going into the first media timeout. Out of the timeout, Buffalo missed a free throw and Ohio responded when junior center Gabe Wiznitzer (Walhalla, S.C.) hit his two free throws. Moments later, a three and a layup from Miles Brown helped the Bobcats take a 19-15 lead with 11:58 remaining in the half.
Out of the timeout, a layup from freshman guard Elmore James (Cleveland, Ohio) put Ohio up six. After free throws cut the lead to one with 8:40 to go in the half, a layup from the Bulls gave Buffalo its first lead since the opening minutes going into the under-eight media timeout. Out of the timeout, Wilson III hit a free throw to tie the game at 23-23, however, back-to-back threes from Buffalo put them up 29-23 and forced Ohio to call a timeout with six minutes to go in the half After Buffalo took a 12-point lead, two free throws from Miles Brown cut the deficit to 10. Buffalo countered with a three, however James matched it with a jumper to cut the Ohio deficit to 11 with 1:13 left in the half.
After a free throw from Buffalo put them back up 12, the Bobcats closed out the final 30 seconds with a layup from Hunter and followed that with a defensive rebound and a bank-in three at the buzzer from Miles Brown, cutting the Bobcats’ deficit to 39-32 at the half.
At the half, Ohio shot 33.3 percent from the field, 44.4 percent from thee and were 6-of-8 from the line, while Buffalo shot 39.5 percent from the field, 36.4 percent from three and were 5-of-7 from the line. Ohio out-rebounded Buffalo, 24-23, however Ohio turned the ball over nine times in the first half and Buffalo capitalized, scoring 10 points off them.
Miles Brown led Ohio with 13 points and five rebounds, while Hunter scored seven points.
Ohio opened the second half on an 11-0 run with a layup from sophomore forward AJ Clayton (Roseville Ohio), four points from AJ Brown and a layup from Miles Brown to give the Bobcats a 40-39 lead, while forcing Buffalo to burn a timeout with 17:39 to go in the game. Out of the timeout, Buffalo went on a 7-2 run to retake the 46-42 lead with 14:50 to go in the game. After Buffalo took a 51-42 lead, Ohio went on a 6-0 run with the help of a three and a jumper from senior guard DeVon Baker (Dayton, Ohio), cutting the deficit to 51-47. However, Buffalo hit back-to-back threes moments later taking a 10-point lead with 10:37 to go in the game.
Out of the timeout, the teams traded two baskets before a three from Miles Brown and a layup from Baker helped cut the Ohio deficit to six. After both teams traded two points, a Buffalo three out them back up nine with 7:32 remaining in the game. Out of the timeout, two free throws from AJ Brown and a dunk from Wilson III cut the Buffalo lead to five, forcing the Bulls to burn a timeout. Out of the timeout, both teams traded baskets, with Miles Brown hitting four free throws and Baker capitalizing on a layup, cutting the Buffalo lead to 69-67 with 3:06 remaining in the game.
Next, Ohio forced two stops but were unable to capitalize on them, with Buffalo responding with four-straight points to give the Bulls a 73-63 lead with 1:09 remaining. Out of the timeout, Miles Brown capitalized on a layup to cut the UB lead to four. Over the final minute, Buffalo missed on three free throws, allowing Clayton to hit a three with nine seconds remaining. After Buffalo missed two more free throws with seven seconds to go, Miles Brown was able to take the last shot, with the ball rimming out at the buzzer, and Ohio falling 75-72.
For Buffalo, four Bulls scored in double figures, with Curtis Jones scoring 20 points and grabbing nine rebounds. LaQuill Hardnett added 15 points and 16 rebounds, while Isaiah Adams scored 14 points, followed by Armoni Foster with 12.
Up next, the Bobcats are back on the road for more MAC play on Saturday, Jan. 7 when Ohio heads to Bowling Green to take on the Falcons. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. inside the Stroh Center
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