ROCHESTER, MI – Junior Tony Watson's career-high 19 points were not enough on Saturday afternoon as the Bulls fell in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament to Oakland, 84-76, at the O'rena. The Bulls had four players in double figures, but end the season with a 20-11 record, the second straight season UB has eclipsed the 20-win mark.
The Bulls outshot the Golden Grizzlies by a narrow margin, but untimely turnovers and a 24-4 disparity at the free throw line were the difference in the game.
"It was a hard-fought game. Both teams shot it pretty well from three," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "One of the teams got to the free throw line and one obviously didn't and that was the difference of the game."
Buffalo got off to a great start, leading by as many as 10 points early on. The Bulls seemed in control for much of the first half and led 39-31 with 4:14 left. However, Oakland, led by Reggie Hamilton, the nation's leading scorer, closed the half on a 15-5 scoring run to take a 46-44 lead into the locker room.
The Bulls struggled out of the gates in the second half and fell behind, 55-46, with 14:01 remaining. Oakland would continue to lead and held an eight-point advantage with 5:19 left. However, a Mitchell Watt jumper followed by back-to-back three-pointers by Zach Filzen and Watson knotted the game at 76 with 3:56 left.
But the Bulls scoring would dry up and Oakland ended the game on an 8-0 scoring run to seal the win.
Both teams shot well from beyond the arc knocking down 12 three-pointers each. Watson hit a career-high five triples on eight attempts. Filzen made three three-pointers to finish his career with 222 – second in school history. Jarod Oldam hit a pair of three-pointers and finished with a career-high 12 points.
Buffalo finished the game on the right side of most statistical categories. The Bulls made five more field goals and outrebounded the Grizzlies by four. UB did commit 17 turnovers and the discrepancy in free throw shooting was the difference in the game.
"I'm really proud of our guys and proud of our seniors," Witherspoon said "It's not a good way to end the season."