OXFORD, Ohio -- Miami had three players reach double figures but could not overcome a late deficit in a 79-71 loss to Buffalo Saturday afternoon at Millett Hall.

Junior center Drew McGhee tallied 13 points, while junior forward Will Felder and junior guard Allen Roberts each added 10 points for the RedHawks (8-16, 3-9). Tony Watson led the Bulls (11-15, 6-6) with 31 points.

Miami closed a 12-point deficit near the eight-minute mark to one, 70-69, when sophomore guard Will Sullivan canned a 3-pointer from the right side. But Buffalo ended the game on a 9-2 run, making all eight free-throw attempts during that span. Watson's breakaway three-point play with four seconds left capped the scoring.

UB opened up a quick 9-4 lead by the 15:33 mark, but Miami rattled off six unanswered points to capture its first lead of the game. A layup by junior guard Josh Sewell at 13:01 put the RedHawks up 10-9. The Bulls then went on their own scoring flurry to take a 17-10 lead with 10:52 to go in the first half, but Miami chiseled away and used a 7-0 run to take a 21-19 lead at the 7:29 off a Roberts free throw.

Spurred by four points from McGhee, Miami captured a 27-23 lead with 4:41 to play in the opening half. Three-pointers by Sewell and Roberts helped keep the Miami advantage at four points until the Bulls put together an 8-0 run to take a 39-35 advantage with 43 seconds left in the half. Freshman guard Reggie Johnson was fouled with seven seconds left and sunk one of his charity tosses to pull the RedHawks within three, 39-36, at the break.

 

Senior center Vince Legarza handed out five of Miami’s nine first-half assists, tying a career high that he set at Buffalo on Feb. 25, 2012.

 

McGhee scored Miami’s first six points of the second half to knot the game, 41-41, by the 18:16 mark. After the Bulls pulled out to a four-point advantage, Miami was able to close within one off a pair of freshman guard Geovonie McKnight free throws with 13:40 to go, 48-47. The Bulls went on a 15-4 run to push their lead to 12 points with 8:15 to go, 63-51.

 

Miami fired back with a 9-0 run ignited by a McGhee layup at the 8:05 mark, spurred by five straight points from McKnight, and capped by a junior forward Jon Harris jumper at 6:55 to pull Miami within three, 63-60. Watson halted the RedHawk surge with a jumper with 6:25 to go.

 

The Bulls extended their lead to eight off a Jarryn Skeete triple with 5:29 to go, but Miami rattled off six unanswered points to shrink the gap to two points with 2:26 to play, 68-66.

 

After a Buffalo layup, Sullivan connect on his trey.

 

Watson's total included six 3-pointers, while Javon McCrea followed with 20 points.


Miami has a week off before participating in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBuster event. The RedHawks play at Southern Illinois at 3 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, Feb. 23.