Ohio had chances to pull off the Mid-American Conference’s unthinkable upset.
Buffalo simply made shots when a lead needed extended, though.
Despite playing well against the now-Mid-American regular season champ Bulls, Ohio couldn’t pull off a seismic upset and lost to Buffalo 82-79 on Tuesday night in The Convo.
The loss guarantees Ohio will hit the road for the first round of the MAC Tournament on Monday. It also gave Buffalo its second consecutive regular season conference crown.
Buffalo drained 15 3-pointers on Ohio’s defense, compared to the MAC-record 19 it hit against Ohio on Feb. 19. That game was a 47-point blowout for the Bulls, but the rematch was different.
Ohio cut the lead to as little as two early in the second half, and the Bobcats seemed poised to hang around and make Buffalo sweat an upset bid.
But just as they pulled within two, the Bobcats gave up back-to-back 3s to the Bulls.
The Bobcats, led by a career-high 20 points from Doug Taylor and nine from Connor Murrell didn’t give in, though. Ohio cut the lead to just one, but Buffalo knocked down shots when it needed them most. Back-to-back 3s with under four minutes to go sunk the Bobcats’ upset bid for good.
Buffalo controlled the tempo and made plays from all angles. Four Bulls were in double figures, and Jeremy Harris led them with 20.
The Bobcats answered the Bulls for most of the night, but the Bulls proved why they’re a top-25 team and a lock in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. When they needed one most, the Bulls knocked down a 3. And then another one for good measure. Twice.
Ohio stuck around in the first half behind 10 first-half points from Doug Taylor, but like the first time the teams played, Buffalo continued to hit 3s. The Bulls had 11 first-half 3s on their way to a 41-35 halftime lead.
Buffalo had just one two-point field goal in the opening 20 minutes, but still maintained a lead.
That first half lead proved to be barely enough to escape The Convo, and escape Ohio’s upset attempt.