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2016-17 MAC Men’s Basketball Recap: Miami RedHawks vs. Buffalo Bulls

Buffalo’s second half surge keeps Miami winless on the road this season in the 71-58 victory.

Blake Hamilton
Blake Hamilton
Kaleb Carter

Blake Hamilton’s 23 points powered the Buffalo Bulls past the Miami RedHawks 71-58 at home on Saturday afternoon as UB (15-12, 9-5 MAC) has won each of their last six games and has looked good in doing it. Michael Weathers and Rod Mills Jr. each reached double-figures, but Miami (10-17, 3-11 MAC) struggled to do much of anything else on offense as its road record falls to 0-11.

The Bulls leaped ahead early with a 10-4 lead with 13:56 remaining in the first half thanks to a dunk by Raheem Johnson, but the ‘Hawks battled back to get within one as a Logan McClane jumper made it 22-21 in favor of UB with 3:56 left. However, Buffalo made a quick run to take control of the game prior to the halftime buzzer as Willie Conner recorded five of the team’s last eight points to take a 30-24 lead into the intermission.

Blake Hamilton asserted himself early in the contest with 14 points on 5-7 from the floor in the first half as the rest of the Bulls were red-hot with a 44% shooting percentage from the field. Miami, meanwhile, had some difficulty on the offensive end with a 32.3 field goal percentage (23.1% from long range) despite having a 16-15 rebounding edge after 20 minutes.

It was all UB from the time the halftime buzzer sounded until the end of the game as the Red and White had no way of slowing down the Bulls on offense. Despite Miami having a little more offensive success in the half (43.3% shooting, Michael Weathers dropping 17 points in the half), Buffalo shot nearly 50% from the field as Hamilton and C.J. Massinburg each logged nine points.

The Bulls now move to a tie with the Ohio Bobcats for second place in the MAC East, three games back of the Akron Zips. The rest of the regular season is obviously crucial, as moving from a three-seed to a two-seed in the MAC Tournament would be huge for UB’s repeat bid, and they can’t afford more losses or their road gets significantly tougher.

For Miami, hard times get harder despite having a young core of players that should be good in a season or two. As for this season, it is hard to see this team salvaging the season in any meaningful way.

Buffalo hosts a Kent State Golden Flashes team that is coming off of a huge win at Akron at 7 p.m. Tuesday while Miami invites Ohio to Oxford for the first edition of the Battle of the Bricks this season at that time also.