Ohio claimed one of its biggest wins of the season after it trounced Buffalo 74-53 in Buffalo, New York, on Friday night.
The Bobcats shut down the Bulls with rigid defense and established a strong lead by ending the first half on an 18-5 scoring run. They held the lead for over 35 minutes and beat one of the top dogs in the Mid-American Conference into submission.
The last time Ohio played Buffalo on the road, it won by a point, thanks to a last-second basket.
Friday was a different story. The Bobcats (16-3, 7-1 Mid-American Conference) strolled into Alumni Arena and smacked the Bulls (10-8, 4-4 MAC) around on their own court. They played the game at their own tempo and picked up a marquee road win along the way.
Here are the numbers to know from Ohio’s win over Buffalo:
The Bobcats were able to sprint ahead of the Bulls early, and that was primarily due to turnovers. They scored 15 points off 16 turnovers by the Bulls.
Ohio, on the other hand, committed just eight turnovers all night. That’s the fewest it's given up since it committed seven turnovers against Concordia in late November. Ohio played cleanly, and it took advantage of Buffalo’s sloppy performance.
One of the biggest threats for the Bobcats ahead of Friday’s game was Buffalo’s Jeenathan Williams. The forward has never scored less than 10 points in a game this season and was fourth in the MAC for points per game before Friday.
But the Bobcats focused on Williams and shut him down early. Williams scored 13 points all night and went 5-of-15 from the field. He’s also been one of the Bulls’ most consistent 3-point shooters this year, but the Bobcats shut him out from beyond the arc. Williams ended the night shooting 20% from 3-point range.
Miles Brown tied his season high Friday by knocking down three 3-pointers against the Bulls. The junior hadn’t sank that many shots from beyond the arc since his game against Concordia.
Brown finished the game with 11 points and five rebounds. While trailing behind Mark Sears, who led both teams with 27 points, Brown made his shots count. He was 4-of-6 from the floor and only missed one 3-point attempt the entire game. The junior isn’t known for his scoring talents, but he’s a dependable shooter and can get points on the board when the situation calls for it.
Before Friday, Buffalo had one of the most explosive scoring offenses in the MAC. It averaged 80.2 points per game and had scored 100 points or more in two games.
Ohio held Buffalo to 53 points.
No other team has held Buffalo under 60 points this year. Buffalo even put up 76 points against Michigan, the No. 6 team in the nation at the time, during its season opener. Whether it's a testament to Ohio’s defensive skills or Buffalo’s worst night on offense all season, the fact still stands. Ohio did what other teams couldn’t.