OXFORD, OH -- Friday's Mid-American Conference battle between Miami and visiting Buffalo came down to opportunities. The Bulls prevailed in two key "opportunitity" categories, and defending MAC champion Buffalo emerged with an 83-77 victory at Millett Hall.
Although UB's edge in turnovers . . .
Miami, on the other hand, faltered on its second half opportunities at the foul line, sinking just 8-of-15. With the RedHawks also dropping to 37.5 percent from the field after intermission, it opened the door for Buffalo to overcome a 43-36 halftime deficit.
The Bulls jumped from 41.2 percent from the field in the opening stanza to 53.3 percent after intermission.
Jayvon Graves scored 25 points to lead five Bulls players in double figures. Ronaldo Segu came off the bench for 16, followed by Davonta Jordan's 13, Josh Mballa's 12 (with 13 rebounds) and Jeenathan Williams's 11 points.
Dalonte Brown, who sparked Miami to its first half lead with 16 points, ended the contest with a team-high 16. Other RedHawks in double figures were Isaiah Coleman-Lands (13), Dae Dae Grant 11, and Bam Bowman (10).
Both teams entered Friday's encounter seeking their first MAC win, and Miami came roaring out of the gates. The RedHawks scored 10 unanswered points before new Buffalo Jim Whitesell called a time out. After another MU point, UB ran off 17 straight points of its own.
It was a 22-13 Bulls lead before Miami began its own comeback. Bam Bowman's triple at 7:43 tied the game at 27-all. Mballa's layup edged the visitors in front again, but Miami outscored UB 16-7 the rest of the way for a 43-36 halftime lead.
It was still an eight-point RedHawk lead (49-41) following Bowman's "and-one" three at 8:15. Buffalo then chipped away and went in front 55-54 after turning consecutive Miami turnovers into a pair of fast break baskets. On the night, UB outscored the RedHawks 26-4 on fast breaks.
Buffalo's lead reached nine points following a Jordan jumper at 7:57. While MU managed to pull within four twice several missed free throws undermined the comeback.
After a big offensive rebound by Precious Ayah, Coleman-Lands drained a three to make it an 80-78 with 11 seconds left.
Segu canned two free throws at the other end, however, and a five-second inbounds violation sealed the verdict.