AMHERST, N.Y.-Junior guard Allen Roberts hit a pair of free throws with 7.5 seconds remaining, lifting Miami University's men's basketball team to a 58-57 victory over Buffalo Saturday night at Alumni Arena. The junior led the way with 22 points, while junior forward Will Felder chipped in 12 points.
The RedHawks (6-8; 1-1 Mid-American Conference) had built a 20-point lead with 11:34 remaining after a torrid scoring flurry to open the second half. Miami went on an 18-4 surge to extend its six-point halftime lead. A thunderous Felder dunk at 10:20 pushed the Miami lead to a game-most 21 points.
That, however, was the last RedHawk field goal of the game. Buffalo (5-11; 0-2 MAC) used a 19-0 run over 7:06 to pull within two, 54-52, before Roberts sunk a pair of free throws at 2:24 to give the RedHawks a 56-52 edge.
The Bulls scored five unanswered points, capped by two Javon McCrea free throws, to capture a 57-56 lead with 1:01 to play. With the offensive possession late in the game, Miami missed on two field goals attempts, but a critical offensive rebound by sophomore guard Will Sullivan with 10 seconds left allowed Miami to retain possession.
Roberts was fouled and went to the line to shoot one and the bonus with seven seconds left. He nailed both free throws to lift the RedHawks to a 58-57 lead.
Buffalo got the ball across halfcourt and took a quick timeout with four second left. The Bulls inbounded the ball, but freshman guard Geovonie McKnight deflected a pass with two seconds remaining and dribbled out of traffic to preserve the RedHawk win.
In the first half, Miami opened up a five-point lead off a Roberts 3-pointer at the 12:32 mark, 14-9. The Bulls chiseled away at the RedHawk advantage and led 19-16 with 8:15 to play in the opening half. Buffalo held a 21-19 lead at 5:53 in the first half, but Miami used an 8-0 run sparked by four points from junior center Drew McGhee to take a 27-21 lead at 2:38. Miami carried a six-point edge into the half, 31-25.
It was the first time this season Miami has won a game scoring less than 70 points. It also was the RedHawks' first win in Buffalo since Feb. 16 2008.
Miami had a solid shooting effort from the field, connecting on 47.7 percent of its field goals, and was strong from the charity stripe, sinking 11-of-13 attempts (.846).
Roberts posted his third 20-point effort of the season and fifth of his career. His 22 points were one off his career high.
Miami returns home to host Bowling Green at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16. Fan-favorite the Kings Firecrackers will be the halftime entertainment for Wednesday's game.