Athens, OH – Ohio University and Buffalo squared off in an Eastern division battle in the Mid-American Conference. Ohio was coming off of their first conference win against Ball State and looking to string together their first set of back to back wins of the season. Buffalo was coming off of a loss at Central Michigan and trying to avoid their first losing streak of the season. Both teams started the game playing tight pressure defense with lots of passion and energy, Ohio was doing most of their damage down low in the paint, while Buffalo attacked from inside and out. Ohio only lead by a point going into the locker room at the half 32-31. The second half would be as tight as the first half was, as this turned out to be a classic back and forth conference battle, and at the end the Bobcats pulled out a last second win 63-61.
In the first half senior guard Javarez Willis was an impact player for the Bobcats as he hit a couple of deep NBA range three pointers. Willis is a scorer who can hurt defenses in several ways. He is a very confident shooter with unlimited range. He is also capable of attacking the basket as well, when his shot is falling he is a very tough to cover. He has unlimited range, and won’t hesitate to shoot, even if he just missed a couple. Throughout the game Willis made timely baskets when the Bobcats needed a score, all three of his makes were from downtown.
The player of the game was Maurice Ndour. The senior forward is a very active player for the Bobcats, he was the one player that kept Ohio close in the game when Buffalo was threatening to run away with the game in the second half. The native of Senegal is a high energy player that makes his presence felt on the floor. He makes an impact on the game in many different ways. During today’s contest he played tough defense, dove on the floor for loose balls, and did a good job rebounding and blocking shots. He also played well on the offensive end, he did a great job getting to the free throw line in the second half where he shot a perfect 10-of-10. He sank two free throws with 1:52 left in the game to give the Bobcats their first lead since early in the second half (59-58).He also scored the game winning basket, with only six tenths of a second left on the clock. He made a quick pivot move and drove to the basket for a two hand slam to put the Bobcats up for good. Ndour scored a career-high 31 points to go along with six rebounds and three blocks. If Ndour can bulk up, he should have a shot to play in a mid-level European league.
Junior Justin Moss was the best player on the floor for Buffalo, the 6’7 forward played well, he did a good job scoring and rebounding. Moss is a 240-pound big man that has good ball skills, he is a good shooter with soft touch on his shot and he has good footwork and moves around the court fluidly. Moss is a very good mid-range shooter, as he likes to operate on the wing from the free-throw line extended area. He will also go down low and post up and get physical as well. Moss led Buffalo in scoring with 11 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
The Bobcats improved their record to (7-10, 2-4) with the win, while Buffalo fell to (12-6, 3-3) in their loss. Ohio will try for their third consecutive win on the 27th when they go on the road against Eastern Michigan. Buffalo will also be in action on the 27th as they will try to snap their two game losing streak as they head back home to take on Western Michigan.
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