The last time the Buffalo Bulls men's basketball team played Ohio, it was not fun for Bulls fans to watch. The Bobcats completely blew them out by a 94-75 margin on national television. This one was much closer but the Bulls couldn't get it done in overtime as they dropped this one with a score of 103-96.
The first half started out strong for the Bulls. A Jarryn Skeete three point jumper started the day off. Blake Hamilton followed suit and did the same. The offense continued to roll as Willie Conner fired up. Five minutes in he would already have 7 points. The Convocation Center was held silent for much of the first ten minutes (just like in the women's game). Unfortunately, Ohio lit the fuse from there and went on a huge run, taking a 17-7 lead down to only a 23-20 lead. A Lamonte Bearden three would get the UB offense going again but the Bobcats kept right up with their offensive efforts.
After duking it out offensively, both teams were tied 35 a piece with 3:41 left to go in the half. From there, Ohio really started taking advantage of the Bulls and started clamping down in the paint. The Bobcats would take it's first lead of the game and stretch it to a 48-42 margin at the half.
The second half started with a quick surge from the Bulls as they took a 54-51 lead back with 16 minutes left in the game. A huge key here was Ohio's leading scorer in Antonio Campbell being held to no points at all. If Campbell was scoring his normal output, Buffalo would be in a lot of trouble at this point in the game. From this point on, multiple Bulls were in foul trouble. Ohio was in the bonus for the final 14 minutes as every Bull had at least two fouls.
With twelve minutes left, Buffalo was on a 6-0 run that stretched their lead to ten points. Ohio fought right back again and brought it to a one possession game with seven and a half minutes left in the game. Willie Conner would once again keep Buffalo alive with another crucial three pointer to stop the Ohio run. From here, it was clear that nobody was going to run away from each other. With one minute remaining, Ohio had it tied up at 85 as the nerves began to set in. Jaaron Simmons from Ohio went for the game winning layup until Blake Hamilton shut him down with a monster block. The Bulls couldn't do anything when they received possession and the game was sent to overtime.
Overtime started to get dramatic. The Bulls and the Bobcats continued to duke it out and with 3:11 remaining the game was tied at 90 as Nick Perkins fouled out. Ohio would then take the lead with a Kenny Kaminski free throw but Rodell Wigginton fired right back. With 1:31 remaining, Ohio drilled a three and made the score 96-93 in their favor. From there it was a battle of free throw shooting and Buffalo couldn't get past Ohio.
Blake Hamilton had a big night as he scored 24 points and had 11 rebounds. His fellow junior college transfer would also perform very well with a total of 28 points. If it wasn't for the fouls in this game, the result probably would've been much different.
The Bulls return to Alumni this Tuesday for #Operation6000 part two. All fans in the area are encouraged to come to Senior night as the Bulls continue their quest for the best possible seed in the MAC Tournament. Tip-off for the game against Miami is set for 7:00 PM and will air on ESPN3.