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ATHENS, Ohio – Five Bobcats scored in double figures as the Ohio men’s basketball team (15-11, 7-6 MAC) returned to action Tuesday evening (Feb. 14), defeating Buffalo (12-14, 6-7 MAC) 85-61, for its fourth-straight victory, inside the Convocation Center.
Overall, Ohio shot 46.9 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from three and were 18-of-25 from the line, while Buffalo shot 34.4 percent from the field, 12 percent from three and were 14-of-19 from the line. Ohio outrebounded the Bulls, 46-37, while Ohio forced 12 turnovers, scoring 17 points off them. Ohio also dished out 12 assists to Buffalo’s four and grabbed eight steals to their five.
Individually, freshman guard Elmore James (Cleveland, Ohio) scored 15 points, going 6-of-10 from the field and 2-of-4 from three, while graduate student Dwight Wilson III (Tallahassee, Fla.) added 15 points and eight rebounds. Junior guard Jaylin Hunter (Manchester, Conn.) added 14 points, four rebounds and four assists, while senior guards DeVon Baker (Dayton, Ohio) and Miles Brown (Rochester, N.Y.) both added 11 points for the Bobcats.
Buffalo won the tip, but the Bobcats got on the board first with a layup from Wilson III and driving layup from James to give Ohio an early 4-0 lead. Buffalo was able to hit a three a few minutes later, cutting the Ohio lead to 4-3 going into the first media timeout. Out of the timeout, UB took a one-point lead before a jumper from Miles Brown put the Bobcats back up one. The Bulls then went on a 6-0 run to take a five-point lead, before a jumper from Baker and free throws from Wilson III cut the deficit to one with 11:59 remaining.
After Buffalo retook the lead, a three from freshman guard AJ Brown (Orlando. Fla.) tied the game at 13-13 before free throws and another jumper from Baker put Ohio up two. After another driving layup from Hunter put the Bobcats up four, a jumper from Buffalo cut the Ohio lead to two with 7:50 remaining in the half. Two free throws from Miles Brown put the Bobcats up four, before UB matched it with a jumper. After Wilson III put the Bobcats back up four, the two teams traded free throws to help give the Bobcats a 24-20 lead going into the final media timeout of the half.
A three from James put Ohio up seven and free throws from sophomore forward AJ Clayton (Roseville, Ohio) gave the Bobcats a nine-point lead with 2:45 left in the half. After Buffalo cut the lead to seven on free throws, a jumper from Baker, free throw from James and a dunk from junior center Gabe Wiznitzer (Walhalla, S.C.) at the end of the half put the Bobcats up 34-22 going into the locker room.
At the half, Ohio shot 32 percent from the field, 22 percent from three and were 10-of-15 from the line, while Buffalo shot 28 percent from the field, nine percent from three and were 5-of-6 from the line. Ohio outrebounded the Bulls, 26-22, while Ohio dished out four assists and had five steals, while forcing nine Buffalo turnovers. On the Bulls side, Buffalo dished out two assists, had two steals and forced only three Ohio turnovers.
Individually, the scoring was even across the board with James, Baker and Wilson III all scoring six points, while Miles Brown and AJ Brown both had five points.
Ohio opened the second half on a 7-0 run that was highlighted by a deep three from senior forward Ben Roderick (Powell, Ohio) to put Ohio up 19. After back-to-back threes from Buffalo helped cut the Ohio lead to 11, a three from James and a step-back jumper from Miles Brown gave the Bobcats a 48-32 lead, forcing Buffalo to call a timeout with 15:01 remaining in the game. Moments later, James and Buffalo traded baskets, with Ohio taking a 52-36 lead with 12:49 left in the game.
After Buffalo cut the Ohio lead to 14 with 11:42 remaining, a three from Baker and a driving layup from Hunter put the Bobcats up 19. After the Bulls cut the Ohio lead to 17 multiple times, free throws from Wilson III and a layup from Baker put the Bobcats up 68-48 going into the under-eight media timeout. After the Bobcats increased their lead to 22 on free throws by Wiznitzer, the teams traded baskets until a hookshot from Wilson III and a jumper from Buffalo put Ohio up 76-55 going into the final media timeout.
Over the remaining three minutes, a driving layup from James and a three from Hunter put the Bobcats up 25, while the defense continued to hold Buffalo at bay, securing the 85-61 victory.
For Buffalo, Curtis Jones and Jonnivius Smith led with 14 points each, while Isaiah Adams added 10 points for the Bulls.
Up next, the Bobcats head to Mount Pleasant, Mich. on Saturday, Feb 18 to take on Central Michigan. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN3.
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