UB men’s basketball defeated by Kent State 77-69
Bull’s 6-game win streak comes to an end
On Tuesday night, UB men’s basketball did something they hadn’t done in nearly a month: lose a game.
After rallying off six straight conference wins in February, the Bulls were outplayed on their home floor.
The Buffalo Bulls’ (15-13, 9-6 Mid-American Conference) win streak came to an end Tuesday when they lost 77-69 to the Kent State Golden Flashes (16-12, 8-7 MAC) at Alumni Arena. The Bulls collapsed in the second half and were outscored 45-36. Kent State was led by senior forward Jimmy Hall with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard Deon Edwin had five steals and 10 points.
“Our mental focus wasn’t as sharp as it’s been,” said head coach Nate Oats. “Guys get complacent when you start winning I think, when you win six in a row and you think it’s just gonna just happen, it doesn’t just happen.”
The game was a tail of two halves. The first half was highly competitive. The teams battled back and forth and traded leads four times. The Bulls struggled to get the offense clicking. Kent State took their biggest lead of the opening half on a layup from Edwin that put the score at 16-10.
Three straight layups from Buffalo tied the game up at 16. Senior wing Blake Hamilton was held scoreless for the first 12 minutes of the game. Hamilton got on the board when he made a three while getting fouled. He converted the and-one, putting the Bulls up 20-16. The Bulls gained their own six-point lead with under five minutes in the half. Buffalo entered the break with a one-point lead, 33-32.
“We got the six-point lead there in the first half, kind of gave it away,” Oats said. “Then the first four minutes of the second half were awful, we came out with two bad turnovers, bad shots, we didn’t come out of the gate in the second half very well.”
Buffalo controlled the boards in the first half, out-rebounding Kent State 21-14. Kent State turned it around in the second, out-rebounding the Bulls 25-16. They turned that advantage on the boards into 16-second chance points in the final half.
Buffalo kept the game tight and things were tied at 49 with 10 minutes left in the game. Kent State rallied from the tie and secured a five point lead heading into the final five minutes and Buffalo never got closer than that.
Buffalo had an off night shooting and only converted 41 percent of their shots. It was their worst shooting performance in eight games.
“I missed a couple easy layups that I normally make,” Hamilton said. “We blew our opportunities… I thought we got some good shots but we just had to make all our opportunities.”
Kent State leaned heavily on Hall and sophomore guard Jaylin Walker. They combined to take 33 of Kent State’s 62 shots. Walker finished with 22 points. Their bench only shot seven times in the game and added four points.
Freshman forward Quate McKinzie made his first appearance since breaking his hand against the Ohio Bobcats in January. He finished with two points and four rebounds in nine minutes.
The Bulls host MAC leading Akron Zips (22-6, 12-3 MAC) Friday night at Alumni Arena.
Daniel Petruccelli is the assistant sports editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org