Buffalo (16-8) at Ohio (19-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 26, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (13,080) -- Athens, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Buffalo 11-2, Ohio 11-4. Away Record: Buffalo 5-5, Ohio 8-4. Neutral Record: Buffalo 0-1, Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: Buffalo 10-4, Ohio 9-5. Series Record: Ohio leads, 28-8.
GAME NOTES: The Buffalo Bulls have won two games in a row and will try and hold onto the top spot in the Mid-American Conference East Division as they battle the Ohio Bobcats in a conference showdown at the Convocation Center.
Buffalo has won five of its last six games overall. The Bulls defeated Kent State on Saturday, 78-69, and sit in first place in the MAC East. Buffalo is one game ahead of both Akron and Ohio for the conference lead.
Ohio has won two of its last three games, but hasn't strung a pair of wins together since the end of January. The Bobcats took care of Akron on Saturday, 66-50, to pull even with the Zips in the conference standings, and will try to do the same now with the Bulls.
Ohio already has a commanding lead in the all-time series with Buffalo, 28-8. That lead was extended just 11 days ago when the Bobcats and Bulls met in New York, which saw Ohio come away with a 73-70 victory.
Buffalo took just a one-point lead into the half against Kent State on Saturday, but used a strong second half to build more of a lead and earn the team's second victory in a row, which helped in the grand scheme of things as the Bulls now own the conference's top spot in the East Division. Javon McCrea continues to have a stellar season, as the senior forward scored a game-high 31 points on 9-of-20 shooting, adding 13 free-throw makes and 11 rebounds for the double-double. Will Regan chipped in 15 points with two blocked shots, and Justin Moss came off the bench to score 12 points with six rebounds.
McCrea has had a monster season statistically for Buffalo, leading the team in scoring with 18.9 ppg on 57.6 percent shooting from the floor. McCrea averages a double-double through 24 games played with 10.3 rpg, adding a team-high 57 blocked shots, 40 steals and 50 assists, which is good for third on the team. Joshua Freelove is second in scoring at 12.5 ppg, and Regan claims third with 10.6 ppg. Jarod Oldham tops Buffalo with 130 assists on the year.
Ohio didn't need a tremendous offensive effort to take down Akron on Saturday, but the Bobcats got one nonetheless. Ohio shot 54.7 percent from the floor in the contest, while Akron hit just 26.8 percent from the field, including 5- of-21 from 3-point range. Jon Smith tallied a double-double for the Bobcats with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Travis Wilkins added 14 points and Nick Kellogg chipped in 11.
Kellogg has taken over the distinction of the team's top scorer this season with 15.3 ppg. The role of lead scorer has bounced back and forth several times on the year with Maurice Ndour, who checks in at 15 ppg. Ndour leads the Bobcats in rebounding with 7.1 rpg, and Kellogg's 75 assists on the year are second behind Stevie Taylor's 78. Ohio is scoring 71.9 ppg through 27 games played this season.
Buffalo has a very well-rounded and strong lineup featuring solid play underneath the basket. But Ohio has great perimeter play led by Kellogg. The Bobcats got the best of the Bulls earlier this month in Buffalo, and on their home court should have even more of an advantage.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ohio 79, Buffalo 76
02/26 10:35:16 ET