Devin Williams put the Mountaineers back out front with a pair of free throws. After a Justin Moss layup miss at the other end, Gary Brown missed a three attempt for WVU. Williams, however, came up with the wildly contested rebound and West Virginia got a time out.
The shot clock was winding down when Tarik Phillip took a pass from Juwan Staten and nailed a 3-pointer under pressure to give WVU a 67-62 advantage. Gary Brown followed a Buffalo 3-point miss with one of two free throws for the final margin.
No. 12 seed West Virginia (24-9) advances in to play No. 4 seed Maryland, a 65-63 winner over Valparaiso. Buffalo, which had won eight straight, finishes its campaign at 23-10.
"Obviously this a tough pill to swallow as we came into today with every intention of winning a basketball game and tying to advance," Buffalo head coach Bobby Hurley said. "I am proud of my team and the fight and resiliency that they showed all afternoon and it came down to a couple of plays that didn't go our way."
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Joining him in double figures were Staten (15) and Daxter Miles (10). Phillip added nine points, hitting 4-of-5 shots from the field. Staten and Brown were seeing their first action in several games after nursing injuries.
Ford paced the Bulls, making their first NCAA appearance, with 16 points, followed by Shannon Evans (15) and Moss (13).
West Vigninia’s pressure defense took its toll, particularly in the first half. Overall the Moutaineers outscored UB 15-8 in points off turnovers. WVU also had a 28-22 advantage in points off the bench and 21-10 edge in bench points. The Mountaineers picked up 19 points (19-of-27, 70.4%) at the free throw line The Bulls were good on 16-of-25 at the stripe.
Buffalo held an 11-0 advantage in fastbreak points and nearly broke even overall in rebounds (WVU 31, UB 30).