BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo men's basketball team lost a 10-point second half lead as they fell at Alumni Arena for the first time this season, 73-70, to the Ohio Bobcats on Saturday afternoon. The game was played in front of a season-high 5,052, the largest home crowd since December of 2010. The Bulls are now 14-8 on the year and 8-4 in conference, tied with Ohio.
The Bulls held sizable advantages in both halves, including a 63-53 lead with 9:47 left. However, Ohio scored five quick points, which fueled a 12-0 run, giving the Bobcats a 65-63 lead with 4:33 left. UB regained the lead on a three-pointer from senior Joshua Freelove to put the Bulls up 68-67 with 3:27 left, but Ohio answered again with a layup. A big dunk from senior Javon McCrea put the Bulls back up 70-69 with 2:23 left, but that would turn into UB's final points of the afternoon.
The Bulls missed on the front-end of a one-and-one with 1:22 left and Ohio raced down the court and Antonio Campbell scored the bucket to put the Bobcats back up one. After a missed shot by the Bulls, Campbell was able to get an Ohio offensive rebound and put back to put them up 73-70 with just seven seconds left. UB had one final shot to tie it, but it could not possess the ball cleanly and never got off a shot.
UB held a big lead in the first half as well as it led 33-24 with 3:27 left on a fast-break layup from Freelove. However, Ohio ended the half on a 13-2 run to take a 37-35 lead into the break.
"We did a lot of good things today, but we need to find ways to close out games," said head coach Bobby Hurley. "We just have to do a better job of being more stable and working through some tough stretches. Outside of that, I thought our guys fought extremely hard and it was a high-level game on both ends."
McCrea led all scorers with 18 points as he had his 20-point game and double-double streaks snapped this afternoon. McCrea still finished with eight rebounds, four assists, a block and five steals.
Freshman Shannon Evans finished with 13 points off the bench as he tied his career-high with six rebounds, adding four assists. Freelove added 10 points, while junior Xavier Ford had nine points, including seven in the first half.
Senior Jarod Oldham had seven points, four rebounds and a game-high six assists, while Will Regan finished with five points and six rebounds. Sophomore Jarryn Skeete had six points off a pair of threes.
Ohio finished with two players with 17 points in Maurice Ndour and Nick Kellog. Jon Smith added eight points and nine rebounds.
The loss snaps an 11-game home winning streak dating back to last season and UB's last two home losses have now come against Ohio.
The Bulls will remain home Wednesday night when they have another big game, hosting Akron at Alumni Arena. Tip off is set for 7:00 pm.