Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
UB had a simple mission, beat Bowling Green and they had a trip to Cleveland. Well not UB is hositng a playoff game.
Neither Cameron Downing's 17 points nor the three other UB players to score more than ten was enough for the Buffalo Bullls (12-19, 7-9 MAC) to overcome Bowling Green's Zone defense.
The Bulls who came out of the gates clicking on all cylinders at one point building a nine point lead before Bowling Green (13-18, 7-9 MAC) cut over to zone defense which smothered the Bulls for the last 30 minutes of the game. The Falcons erase most of UB's lead and went into the half with just a 35-32.
Buffalo would be ineffective most of the second half but would rally to close the game for a short time. Javon McCrea hit a jumper to cut Bowling Green’s lead to 61-57 with 3:31 left. However, Jordan Crawford hit back-to-back three-pointers to push the Falcon lead back to 10 and turn the lights out on the Bulls. Crawford finished with 26 points to lead all scorers.
Tony Watson had 14 points, including three three-pointers, and added a game-high six assists. Jarryn Skeete had 13 points for the Bulls.
Three Point Shot:
Point 1 - What's less surprising?
That teams switch over to the Zone or that UB's stops attacking the boards once they do? Bowling Green out rebounded Buffalo, 32-29, including 15 offensive rebounds in which it was able to turn into 13 second-chance points. At one point a Bowling Green announcer summed up Buffalo's whole problem.
As Buffalo was fighting back into the game and Bowling Green got a put back on a bad shot.
"Caught Buffalo Watching the Ball instead of attacking it"
Point 2 - Then the usual..
The Falcons had 11 steals and forced 16 UB turnovers.
Point 3 - What next?
Buffalo will now wait to see if it will host Central Michigan, Miami (OH) or Northern Illinois in Monday’s first-round game based on how the rest of the conference shakes out.