Cleveland, OH- The eleventh seeded RedHawks, fresh off an upset over sixth seeded Ball State in the MAC Tournament, would look to deliver Buffalo a similar fate. However, as is the case with most underdogs, the outcome was not too favorable.
The RedHawks opened up the scoring with a strong finish underneath from senior forward Chris Bryant. First to draw blood for the Bulls was freshman forward Nick Perkins who knocked down a long range triple.
The Bulls used a 13-4 run to propel themselves to a quick 15-6 lead, capped by a big time slam from freshman Ikenna Smart.
The RedHawks would come as close as two in the first half, but Buffalo would take back control and stretch the lead out to 6, leading 37-31 at the half. Bulls junior forward Willie Conner led all scorers with just 9 points.
RedHawks senior guard Geovanie McKnight had his struggles in the first half, going just 1-6 from the field. However, McKnight did a nice job of getting to the line however, knocking down six free throws to give himself eight points in the half.
Willie Connor would continue his hot shooting, opening the second half with back to back triples along with another triple from sophomore guard Lamonte Bearden, pushing the Buffalo lead to twelve.
The Bulls would continue to knock down shots the entire second half, boosting themselves to a 69-56 lead with just under eight minutes to play.
Not much would go Miami’s way the rest of the night, as they suffered defeat at the hands of the Bulls by a final of
Buffalo, who was fifth in the MAC with 77.1 points per game, showed just how dominant on the offensive side of the ball they could be, knocking down eleven triples.
Miami battled hard throughout most of the game but lost their wheels at the end. The Bulls offense proved too much to handle for a stingy RedHawks defense that had only allowed 67.3 points per game during the regular season.
Willie Conner was the high scoring man for the Bulls, dropping six threes and finishing with a total of 25 points. Blake Hamilton also had a solid outing, pouring in points 11 and snatching 16 boards to give himself a double-double.
For Miami, it was Dion Wade leading the way with 16 points. Geovanie McKnight and Eric Washington also had nice contributions, scoring 13 and 12 points respectively.
Buffalo will advance to play Ohio University tomorrow night following the Akron and Bowling Green game.