Bowling Green (6-10) at Buffalo (5-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 19, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Arena (6,100) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Bowling Green 5-2. Buffalo 3-4. Away Record: Bowling Green 0-6, Buffalo 2-5. Neutral Record: Bowling Green 1-2, Buffalo 0-3. Conference Record: Bowling Green 1-2, Buffalo 0-3. Series Record: Bowling Green leads, 16-9.
GAMES NOTES: The Buffalo Bulls will finish a three-game homestand on Saturday when they host the Bowling Green Falcons in a Mid-American Conference contest at Alumni Arena.
This is the second half of a two-game road trip for Bowling Green which was edged out, 63-60, in the first contest by Miami-Ohio. The loss was the sixth in the last seven games for the Falcons who had just earned their first win since Dec. 8 in a 46-44 win over Eastern Michigan in their previous matchup. Bowling Green is 6-10 overall but has yet to earn a win in six chances on the road. Bowling Green will host Kent State next as it plays three of its next four games at home.
Buffalo suffered its fourth straight defeat with an 80-68 setback against Kent State. The Bulls are now just 5-12 this season, while failing to earn a win in their first three conference battles. Playing at home isn't a sure thing to right the ship with Buffalo just 3-4 at Alumni Arena this season. The Bulls play four of their next five games on the road beginning at Ball State on Wednesday.
Last season Buffalo swept the season series a year after Bowling Green did the same. The Falcons lead the all-time series by a 16-9 margin.
Bowling Green rallied to take a pair of one-point leads in the last three minutes against Miami but turned the ball over twice and had a missed field goal attempt in its last three possessions to surrendered the decision. Bowling Green shot better than 50 percent in the contest (.578) but was outscored 36-28 on points in the paint.
Even though Bowling Green has two of the top 10 scorers in the conference in Jordon Crawford (16.4 ppg) and A'uston Calhoun (16.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg), the Falcons have still been one of the worst teams offensively. Bowling Green is putting in only 61.3 points per game, while hitting 40.4 percent of its shots from the floor. Crawford and Calhoun have been carrying the load offensively with no other player on the team scoring more than 6.5 points per game. The pair combined to score 42 points against Miami on 18-of-30 shooting, while the rest of the team had just 18 points on a combined 8-of-15 field goal attempts.
Despite getting 33 points from the free-throw line, Buffalo was unable to get by Kent State last time out due to its poor effort shooting from the field overall (.372 FG percentage). The Bulls were also outgunned from beyond the arc (27-9) while turning the ball over twice as many times as the Golden Flashes.
Javon McCrea can certainly relate to Crawford and Calhoun's lack of aid on the floor. The 6-foot-7 forward is among the top five players in the conference in scoring (16.8 ppg), rebounds (7.0 pg) and blocks (2.6 pg) and is coming off a mammoth 33-point, 10-rebound double-double against Kent State. The Bulls' second-best offensive option, Will Regan (10.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg), also makes his contributions in the frontcourt, while connecting on 53.3 percent of his shots. Jarod Oldham (10.1 ppg) and Tony Watson (7.9 ppg) each shoot worse than 40 percent from the field but are the only other players scoring more than 5.5 points per game.
In this MAC contest playing at home should benefit Buffalo against a Bowling Green team that has not fared well on the road. Expect McCrea to put up a big effort to snap the Bulls' losing streak.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Buffalo 67, Bowling Green 63
01/19 10:31:54 ET