Last time, it was Kenny Kaminski who beat Buffalo with a late jumper. This time, there was no one to save the Bobcats.
Down 81-79 with 6.2 seconds left, Jason Carter took a right hook inside the paint. It rimmed out.
After the miss, Ohio lost 83-79 inside The Convo on Tuesday and missed a chance at locking in the No. 2 seed in this year’s Mid-American Conference Tournament.
“I got to my right-hand hook and it didn't give me a friendly roll,” Carter said. “It's simple as that."
Ohio vs. Buffalo tends to be quite dramatic.
For a team that has beaten every team in the Mid-American Conference, the Bobcats have had trouble against the Bulls in recent outings.
And Tuesday night was no different.
The Bulls used 48 points inside the paint and multiple stout interior stretches to force Ohio to shoot 42 percent from the field.
Ohio stayed competitive late thanks to 25 points scored off 18 forced turnovers.
“I thought Jordan (Dartis) did a terrific job getting us into good positions down the stretch,” Ohio coach Saul Phillips said. “
There were five different lead changes and the score was tied four times. Plus, the Bobcats had to close out the game without Jaaron Simmons.
Simmons fouled out with 3:43 to play after turning the ball over in the paint and lunging for the ball, hitting a Bulls players’ feet
Phillips said Simmons was trying to hard to pull Ohio to victory, an overarching theme of the Bobcats in the final stretch of the regular season.
Simmons finished with 15 points and four assists, including his 500th career assist, but also six turnovers.
“We’re trying to smash a square peg into a round hole,” Phillips said. “I know it comes from a good place.”
With Simmons on the bench after a struggling night — he shot 4-of-15 from the field — Dartis and Carter paced Ohio.
Carter had a team-high 19 points and nine rebounds. Dartis added 18 points in 37 minutes.
“By far the best freshman in the league,” Buffalo coach Nate Oats said of Carter.
In order to receive a first-round bye to Cleveland will have to win Friday against Miami. Phillips recognized after Tuesday’s loss that he’s used two mulligans to get a first-round bye, leaving only one left.
“It’s a real tough loss for us,” Dartis said. “I mean, I don’t like Miami.”