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Mike Laster looking for an opening during Ohio's game against Central Michigan University on Tuesday (BLAKE NISSEN | FOR THE POST)

Men's Basketball: Ohio falls to Buffalo 83-79, blows chance to separate from conference

Ohio entered Tuesday night's contest with a chance to clinch a top three seed in next week's Mid-American Conference Tournament. 

Jason Carter had a chance to extend the chance to do so, too. But his baby hookshot rang around the rim and rolled out with just three seconds left, as Ohio lost 83-79 to Buffalo on Tuesday night at The Convo.

Now, the Bobcats (18-10, 10-7 MAC) postseason fate will come down to wild world of MAC tiebreakers. With games ongoing as of publishing time, Ohio is tied with Buffalo for the second spot in the MAC at 10-7. 

“Very physical, oh yeah," coach Saul Phillips said. "Some of our guys made great strides physically, but they’re going to continue to have to if the game is allowed to be played that way.”

There remains the possibility that there will be five teams tied for second place headed into the weekend's games.

Tiebreakers and MAC standings aside, it wasn't a clean game, by either side. The two team's combined for 37 fouls and 31 turnovers.

Ohio had four players score in double digit points, but couldn't out-duel Buffalo's 56.1 percent shooting from the field. 

Carter, Jaaron Simmons, Jordan Dartis and Gavin Block totaled 63 points. Carter led with 19, but Ohio still wasn't able to score enough points to win a shootout. The Bobcats scored just eight bench points. 

Despite not playing their best basketball for the majority of the evening, the Bobcats still were in the game, albeit trailing, as the game wore on. Then, the unthinkable happened.

Simmons fouled out with just under four minutes to go, so the Bobcats had to rely on the bench to try and carry them home.

Ohio can still win against Miami and earn an automatic bid to Cleveland. But that's the tricky part.

“If we don’t get a bye, we’re gonna host a home game," Phillips said.. "But it’s like being at a golf outing at the summer when you can use those mulligan tickets. I’ve used two and I’ve got none of them left."


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