Buffalo has momentum vs. visiting Miami (OH)
Buffalo had some time to savor a victory over one of its main conference rivals. The Bulls' schedule gets a little more hectic this weekend.
The Mid-American Conference powerhouse will play three games in seven days, beginning with a home matchup against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulls dominated Toledo on Tuesday in a rematch of last season's MAC championship game, which Buffalo also won. Senior guard Jeremy Harris enjoyed a career night with 34 points and the 19th-ranked Bulls (14-1 overall, 2-0 conference) steamrolled the Rockets 110-80.
The point total matched their season high as they shot 51.8 percent from the field, drained 15 3-pointers and committed just seven turnovers. It also established a new program record for most points in a conference game.
"I thought our intensity out of the gate was really good. We wanted to come out and punch them in the mouth and for the first four to eight minutes, I thought we did a really good job of that," Buffalo head coach Nate Oats said. "I wasn't happy with the way we closed the half, but our offense was clicking in the second half. For a while there, our defense was as bad as our offense was good, but once we figured that out, we were able to blow that thing wide open."
Harris was the incendiary device. He not only rocked the nets by making 13 of 19 field-goal tries, including six 3-pointers, he also contributed five assists and four steals.
Harris scored just nine points and missed all five of his long-range shots in the team's MAC opener against Eastern Michigan.
"My teammates just did a good job of finding me open shots," Harris told the Buffalo News. "I didn't shoot too many of my shots off the dribble, so all the credit to my teammates, knowing I was feeling it a little bit tonight and they found me the shots. I've been struggling, and now that I've hit a couple of shots, they want me to shoot every shot, if I can."
Next week, the Bulls play at Western Michigan on Tuesday and host Eastern Michigan on Friday
The RedHawks (8-7) are seeking their first conference victory. They lost their MAC opener to Central Michigan 84-77, then dropped an 83-70 decision to Northern Illinois on Tuesday.
Miami trailed throughout the second half to the Huskies. The game on Saturday will be their first road test of the conference season.
"We're definitely mad that we lost the first two," senior point guard Darrian Ringo told the Oxford Journal News. "We just have to keep our heads up and keep working."
The RedHawks also have to travel to Toledo next week before returning home.
"It's tough," coach Jack Owens said to the Journal News. "You want to win every game. We have a big task on Saturday and again on Tuesday. We've just got to work to continue and get better. It's our job to keep them together. We can't feel sorry for ourselves."
Miami has two players averaging double figures in points, sophomore guard Nike Sibande (16.2 ppg) and sophomore forward Dalonte Brown (15.3).
--Field Level Media
Updated January 11, 2019