March 9, 2008
MAC Tourney Bracket
Box Score |
ATHENS, Ohio-Senior forward Leon Williams (Baltimore, Md.) and junior forward Jerome Tillman (Beavercreek, Ohio) combined for 55 points, while senior guard Bubba Walther (Cincinnati, Ohio) nailed five 3-pointers to lift Ohio to a 94-80 win over Buffalo on Senior Day at the Convocation Center. The win, which propelled the Bobcats to 19-11 overall mark (9-7 Mid-American Conference), clinched the fourth and final bye spot in next week's MAC Tournament in Cleveland, Ohio. The Bulls, who dropped to 10-19 overall and 3-13 in the league, will be the 12th seed.
Tillman also had 10 rebounds for his 16th career double-double to go with three blocks, while Walther and junior guard Michael Allen (Detroit, Mich.) combined for 15 of the Bobcats' 24 assists. Williams was a monster inside all game long as he missed just one field goal attempt (10-11) and one free throw (10-11) while he amassed seven rebounds.
Buffalo was led by Andy Robinson's 23 points and three steals. Max Boudreau, who was the only other Bull in double-digits with 12, had a team-high six boards. Byron Mulkey led Buffalo with four assists.
Buffalo won the overall rebounding battle 34-32 and held a dominant edge on the offensive end (17-6). The Bulls also forced Ohio into 17 turnovers.
Ohio shot a blistering 62 percent (31-50) from the field, 9-18 (50 percent) from 3-point range and 82.1 percent (23-28) from the charity stripe. Buffalo shot 41.2 percent (28-68) from the field, 36.4 percent (8-22) from 3-point range, but just 69.6 percent (16-23) from the line.
The Bobcats seized control of the game very early on and never looked back. Ohio took its first lead on a layup by Williams just one minute, 49 seconds into the contest (7-5) and built the margin to as many as 17 (58-41) on a pair of Williams free throws with 48 seconds to go in the half. When time ran out in the stanza, Ohio had posted an amazing 58 points on 18-27 (66.7 percent) shooting.
Buffalo tried to climb back into the game and shaved the deficit to 12 (68-56) on a 3-pointer by Robinson four minutes, 42 seconds into the second half. However, the Bobcats gradually pulled away and claimed their largest lead at 22 (88-66) on a jumper by Williams with 6:36 to go.
The Bobcats will back in action Thursday in the quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament against the winner of fifth-seeded Miami (15-14 overall, 9-7 MAC) and 12th-seeded Buffalo. The game is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. and will be televised on FSN Ohio.