Squandered Opportunities Spell Doom For UB
Coming off Wednesday's road loss to Bowling Green, Buffalo was looking to find some consistency in their offense Saturday night against Youngstown State.
Instead the Bulls (2-4) played lost and frustrated, marred in an offensive funk that had them shoot a very poor 36 percent from the field in a 63-48 defeat at the Beeghly Center in Youngstown, Ohio.
"I think we played harder but we're still tight on offense," said Buffalo Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon. "We forced a lot of shots and took a lot of bad shots."
After trailing 26-25 at the end of the first half, Buffalo was looking to come out firing and find the offensive touch after shooting just 29 percent in the first half.
Turnovers, however, have a funny way of derailing any steam built up.
The tenacity was there all game long but unfortunately the patience and steadiness on offense seemed to be lost on the bus ride to Ohio. Buffalo had eleven turnovers in the first half alone and 23 for the game in comparison to Youngstown's 13.
Despite those telling facts, UB had several opportunities in the second half to take the lead when they had the ball trailing by one. However, poor shot selections and an array of turnovers cost Buffalo the game.
Buffalo was nearly bailed out by their gradually improving defense, which held the Penguins to 36 percent shooting for the game and helped force several turnovers. Buffalo was also kept in the game by poor Penguin free throw shooting; YSU was 26-43 for only 60 percent.
Buffalo only made it to the line 15 times, making 11 shots, and their inability to make it to the line was something that also contributed greatly to their demise.
"We had several looks at the basket and some of them were point blank," added Witherspoon. "We played hard to seep in the area of frustration. Playing defense seemed the way to vent anger off playing badly on offense."
Buffalo continued with its season long trend of balanced scoring as Saturday's game marked the seventh for Buffalo in which they had a different leading scorer. The Bulls, however, have also lacked a go-to guy to provide instant offense in close games such as this one. Daniel Gilbert and Clement Smith lead the Bulls with 11 points each.
Adam Baumann of Youngstown State (3-2) led all scorers on the evening with 19 points and 12 rebounds and was complimented nicely by Doug Underwood who chipped in with 13.
Saturday's game presented an opportunity for both teams to get back on track following tough double-digit losses on the road. Buffalo next hosts Niagara on Wednesday at 7 p.m.