Bulls Lose at Bowling Green in Regular Season Finale
BOWLING GREEN, OH - The University at Buffalo men's basketball team lost to Bowling Green, 76-65, in the regular season finale at the Stroh Center on Friday night. The loss means Buffalo misses out on a chance to earn a first-round bye in the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament and will host a first-round game at Alumni Arena on Monday night.
Buffalo (12-19, 7-9 MAC) was led by Cameron Downing who finished with 17 points off the bench. He was one of four Bulls to score in double-figures.
It was a tale of two halves for the Bulls who came out of the gates clicking on all cylinders. The Bulls connected on 10 of their first 14 shots and jumped out to 31-23 lead. Javon McCrea scored 10 of the Bulls' first 13 points en route to 15 in the game.
Bowling Green (13-18, 7-9 MAC) switched to a zone defense late in the first half and it troubled the Bulls for the remainder of the game. The Falcons turned a 35-32 halftime deficit into a 47-42 lead with 13:52 left in the game and never looked back.
McCrea hit a jumper to cut Bowling Green's lead to 61-57 with 3:31 left. However, Jordan Crawford hit back-to-back three-pointers to push the Falcon lead back to 10 and turn the lights out on the Bulls. Crawford finished with 26 points to lead all scorers.
"We didn't move the ball like we wanted to and we got mechanical," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "Even when we had openings, we didn't move it with certitude. Early on when we were making shots, we didn't have enough determination on the defensive end to get them in a hole. When you make 14 of your first 17 you should have your opponent in a hole."
Bowling Green outrebounded Buffalo, 32-29, including 15 offensive rebounds in which it was able to turn into 13 second-chance points. The Falcons had 11 steals and forced 16 UB turnovers.
Buffalo will now wait to see if it will host Central Michigan, Miami (OH) or Northern Illinois in Monday's first-round game.