Ohio vs Buffalo Preview and Prediction
Ohio vs Buffalo Preview
The No.25 Buffalo Bulls (22-3, 10-2) are clinging to their spot in the AP poll, and that is thanks in part to a comeback that also allowed them to retain a share of first place in the Mid-American Conference. The Bulls can stay there with a win over the last-place team in the East Division.
The Bulls, who are tied with Bowling Green for the top spot, host Ohio (11-13, 3-9) on Tuesday. Buffalo trailed most of the way against West Division leader Toledo on Friday before storming back for a 88-82 road win.
“The first timeout we had, once we got the lead, we basically said, ‘If we play defense, we’re not losing the game,'” Bulls coach Nate Oats told the Buffalo News. “Our offense comes and goes a little bit. Once you get the lead and you go out and get stops and rebounds, you’re winning the game. That was our big talking point from there.”
Nick Perkins gets a lot of hype because he is Buffalo’s sixth man–but he plays starters minutes and is relied on to carry the offensive load at times. He tied his career high with 26 points and made three of his four three-point shots during a crucial second-half stretch against Toledo.
“When Nick just started hitting threes, they called a timeout and I thought they were going to adjust their ball-screen coverage,” Oats said. “I didn’t know how. He continued to get them. Our guards were pretty unselfish, driving in and forcing (Toledo center Luke) Knapke to stay with the guards. Nick was popping back and he was wide open, and they kept feeding him when he got hot.”
CJ Massinburg leads the team in scoring with 18.3 points per game, but the 6’3 guard does his part on the glass pulling down 6.3 rebounds per contest as well. If Massinburg is given room to shoot, it will be a long day for the Bobcats.
Ohio carries a five-game losing streak into Tuesday’s contest. It lost to Central Michigan 87-80 on Saturday, with foul calls playing a large role. The Chippewas shot 35 free throws and made 28 while the Bobcats shot 13 free throws and made only four.
“The big disparity (Saturday) is the trips to the free-throw line,” Ohio head coach Saul Phillips said in his post-game radio interview. “You can’t win many games like that.”
A big game from redshirt freshman forward Ben Vander Plas was wasted in the process. He posted career highs by scoring 24 points and snaring 13 rebounds.
“He was a monster,” Phillips told the Athens Messenger. “He’s got a brilliant future ahead of him.”
Ohio has also lost to Northern Illinois, Akron, Miami (Ohio) and Eastern Michigan to fall into the cellar of the East Division.
Sophomore forward Jason Carter leads the Bobcats with averages of 16.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
|Ohio Bobcats||Buffalo Bulls|
|2-8-0||Last 10 Games||4-6-0|
LINE: -19 Buffalo
Dan’s Bet: Buffalo -19
Score Prediction: Buffalo 83 Ohio 60