ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University men’s basketball team (19-9, 9-6) rallied from a 17-point second half deficit, but ultimately suffered a 69-64 defeat at the hands of Buffalo (17-8, 11-4) Wednesday night inside the Convocation Center.
Senior guard Nick Kellogg (Westerville, Ohio) posted a game-high 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting. He also knocked down 3-of-7 3-point attempts and is just four triples away from becoming Ohio’s all-time leader in the category.
Senior forward Jon Smith (Grove City, Ohio) connected on all five of his field goal attempts to finish with 11 points. Sophomore forward Treg Setty (Maysville, Ky.) netted a season-high nine points in only 14 minutes of action and went 4-of-5 from the free throw line. In his last two games, Setty has tallied 16 total points while shooting .833 from the floor.
Junior guard Javarez “Bean” Willis (Homer, La.) finished with eight points and compiled five assists marking his third 5+ assist performance in his past four games.
Buffalo edged Ohio in rebounds (38-35) and points in the paint (38-36), but the Bobcats led in bench points (16-12). Ohio shot 45.1 percent (23-51) from the field and limited Buffalo to just 34.5 percent (10-29) in the second half while outscoring the Bulls 37-27 in the stanza.
But Buffalo grabbed 14 offensive rebounds which led to 15 second chance points and held a 26-7 edge in points off turnovers for the game.
Ohio leapt out to 4-2 lead in the opening minutes, but a 14-2 Buffalo run dug the Bobcats into a double-digit deficit (16-6) with 14:10 remaining in the first half. The ‘Cats responded with an 8-0 run cutting the margin to two (16-14) at the 12:03 mark, but Ohio could not inch any closer in the half as the Bulls pushed their lead to 15 (42-27) at the break.
Buffalo increased its advantage to a game-high 17 points (48-31) in the opening minutes of the second stanza, but the Green & White answered fruitfully with a 12-0 run, slashing the Bulls’ lead to five (48-43) with 13:09 to play.
Ohio sustained momentum, keeping within six of the Bulls for the remainder of the game. The Bobcats pulled within one (65-64) at the 1:11 mark thanks to Kellogg strike from behind the arc, but could not surpass the Bulls as they concluded the game with four freebies from the line to secure the 69-64 victory.
The loss is Ohio’s first fault against Buffalo in eight meetings.
Ohio returns to action for its final home game when the ‘Cats host Kent State at the Convocation Center on Saturday (March 1) at 2 p.m.