Miami-Ohio (11-15) at Buffalo (17-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 12 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Gym (6,100) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Miami-Ohio 7-5, Buffalo 11-2. Away Record: Miami-Ohio 4-10, Buffalo 6-5. Neutral Record: Miami-Ohio 0-0, Buffalo 0-1. Conference Record: Miami-Ohio 7-8, Buffalo 11-4. Series Record: Miami-Ohio leads, 21-11.
GAME NOTES: With three games remaining on their regular-season schedule, the Buffalo Bulls will be gunning for a top spot in the Mid-American Conference East Division, and they'll start by hosting the Miami-Ohio RedHawks in a conference bout at Alumni Gym.
Following a five-game losing streak, Miami-Ohio has won its two most recent contests and now owns a 7-8 record in the MAC. The RedHawks took down Akron, 65-61, on Wednesday night.
Buffalo has won three consecutive games and six of its last seven altogether. With the team's 69-64 victory over Ohio Wednesday, the Bulls took a two-game lead on the rest of the MAC East Division. at 11-4 in conference play.
The RedHawks own the all-time series lead over the Bulls, 21-11. The most recent outing, though, belonged to Buffalo. On Feb. 12 at Miami, the Bulls came away with a decisive 75-62 win for their 11th in the series history.
Miami grabbed a 27-20 lead at the half over Akron on Wednesday, and the Zips could only shave off three points from the lead in the second half as the RedHawks pulled the surprise win. Will Sullivan netted 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Miami, and Will Felder chipped in 16 points of his own with six more rebounds. Geovonie McKnight added 13 points and five boards in the win for the RedHawks.
Felder has been a solid all-around player for Miami this season, leading the team in scoring at 14.5 ppg, and in rebounding with a 6.8 rpg mark. Felder adds a team-high 26 blocked shots to his stat totals, and shoots 53.2 percent from the floor on the year. McKnight is second on the RedHawks roster with 10.1 ppg. Quinten Rollins leads the squad with 101 assists and 62 steals on the season for Miami, which averages 65.1 ppg as a unit through 26 games played.
Buffalo led by a healthy 42-27 margin at the end of the first half on Wednesday night, and although Ohio made up a solid portion of the lead in the second period, the Bulls were still able to hang on and create some distance between them and the competition in the MAC. Javon McCrea, one of the best players in the conference this season, scored 15 points to pace Buffalo, adding seven rebounds to his resume. Joshua Freelove netted 14 points, Jarod Oldham chipped in with 13 and Will Regan added 10 points in the victory.
McCrea's beastly season continues for Buffalo. The senior forward averages a double-double on the year with 18.9 ppg and 10.3 rpg (both team-highs), adding a team-best 57 blocked shots and 40 steals. McCrea can also be a dangerous passer. The big man has a third-best 50 assists on the season. Freelove is second on the squad in scoring at 12.5 ppg, and Regan is third with 10.6 ppg. Oldham leads the team in total assists with 130, and is tied with McCrea for first in steals with 40.
Not only has Buffalo come on extremely strong in the last few weeks, but the team has taken control of the MAC East Division. At home, the Bulls are almost unstoppable, and Miami-Ohio will soon find that out.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Buffalo 78, Miami-Ohio 68
03/01 10:15:39 ET