Men’s basketball falls to Ohio 80-69

Bulls can’t recover from slow first half

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UB men’s basketball (18-10) lost to MAC East foe Ohio (14-14) 80-69 at the Ohio University Convocation Center Tuesday evening.

The loss ended the Bulls’ four-game winning streak as the team looks to secure a first-round bye in the upcoming MAC Tournament.

The Bobcats started out the game on an 18-0 run, with Buffalo missing its first nine shots. Ohio freshman forward Ben Roederick went 3-3 from beyond the arc during the Bobcats’ run and and put UB in a deep hole to begin the contest. 

Senior guard Davonta Jordan finally got the Bulls on the scoreboard, hitting a step-back three seven minutes into the half.

Roderick had a career-high 21 points for the Bobcats while shooting a remarkable 75% from the three-point line. Ohio also scored 19 points from sophomore guard Jason Preston and 14 points from redshirt sophomore forward Ben Vander Plas.

The Bulls went down in the first quarter, but they kept the game interesting in the second. UB stepped up on the defensive end and didn’t allow Ohio to hit a field goal for six straight minutes. Jordan and junior guard Jayvon Graves both connected from deep to bring the Bulls within five points.

Graves became the 23rd player in program history to reach 1,000 career points with a second-quarter triple.

But the Bobcats responded with multiple triples of their own to extend the lead to 13 points at the half.

UB put up a valiant second-half effort, but the first half onslaught from Ohio proved too much to overcome. Graves scored 16 points and senior guard Antwain Johnson added 15 points for the Bulls, as they attempted to keep the team alive.

Preston hit multiple big shots down the stretch to secure the victory for the Bobcats, despite UB’s gritty second-half effort.

For the first time since the MAC opener on Jan. 4 against Northern Illinois, the Bulls were outrebounded, 39-36.

With the loss, the Bulls drop to third place in the MAC East, with three games remaining.

The Bulls will return to action Saturday afternoon at Alumni Arena when they face second-place Akron (21-7).

Sports desk can be reached at sports@ubspectrum.com