The University at Buffalo men's basketball team has taken its great start and turned it over.
UB committed 29 turnovers Tuesday night as it suffered its fourth straight loss by dropping a 67-60 decision to Ball State before 3,926 at Worthen Arena in Muncie, Ind. The Bulls, who started the season 11-1, are now 15-8 and 5-7 in the Mid-American Conference.
"You just can't win a game when you give up 30-plus points off of our turnovers," said UB coach Reggie Witherspoon, whose team allowed 33 points off turnovers while it scored just two off of Ball State's 14 errors.
"What we got on the glass [UB's 38-25 rebounding edge] we gave back, turning the ball over. It's something that should not happen with guys who have played a lot of minutes."
Skip Mills scored 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting, including 5 of 9 from three-point range, for Ball State (8-12, 4-8 MAC), which led the entire second half.
Junior center Yassin Idbihi had 22 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for UB, which beat Ball State, 75-64, at home on Jan. 18. On Tuesday, Ball State used an 11-3 run to end the first half with a 31-25 lead and it was 38-28 five minutes into the second.
UB drew to within 40-35 but a cross-up between Roderick Middleton (13 points) and Mario Jordan that led to UB committing an unforced inbounds violation helped the Cardinals score back-to-back baskets for a 44-35 lead with 10:28 left. The Bulls made it 44-40, an over-and-back violation by UB helped Ball State regain control at 48-40 with 7:20 to go. The closest UB would get the rest of the way was 53-47, but the Cardinals' lead was soon back in double digits thanks in part to a traveling violation by UB senior Calvin Cage (3 of 11 shooting, nine points, seven turnovers).
The Bulls head to Central Michigan on Saturday for a 2 p.m. MAC game.
UB's game at Iona during ESPN's Bracket Buster Saturday on Feb. 18 will not be shown on one of the network's television channels (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) but on its Internet service, ESPN360, it was announced Tuesday. ESPN360 is an application that combines video, statistics and other features via a high-speed connection.
In other men's basketball action Tuesday, Dante Griggs scored a career-high 21 points as Buffalo State (12-10, 6-7) used an 18-3 second-half run to beat Geneseo, 70-58, in the State University of New York Athletic Conference. Geneseo (9-12, 4-8) was led by Joe Kling (St. Joe's), who had 14 points. . . . Dallas Reinard hit two free throws with 1.5 seconds left to give Hilbert a 55-54 victory over Penn State-Behrend in the Allegany Mountain Collegiate Conference. Glen Ufland (Bishop Timon-St. Jude) added 12 points for Hilbert (9-11, 7-7). . . . Scott Hack's 16 points led Medaille (4-17, 3-11 AMCC) in a 67-55 loss to Pitt-Bradford. . . . Dewan Stroud (Seneca) had 26 points for Erie Community College (12-13, 6-4 WNY Conference) in a 76-68 loss at Jamestown.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Katy Irving (Olean) hit a 15-footer with 25 seconds left to give Geneseo (14-7, 9-4 SUNYAC) a 51-49 win at Buffalo State. Toya Parks led the Bengals (7-15, 4-9) with 17 points and five steals. . . . Brittany Heldwein (Nardin) had 23 points and seven rebounds for ECC (7-14, 3-7 WNY) in a 62-47 loss to Jamestown CC. . . . Lindsay Bergman (Holy Angels) had 14 points for Hilbert (6-14, 5-9 AMCC), which hit just 7 of 20 free throws in a 56-46 loss to Penn State-Behrend. . . . Rachel Placito's 20 points led D'Youville (12-9, 10-2 North Eastern Athletic Conference) to a 81-64 win over Baptist Bible College.
MEN'S VOLLEYBALL: John Colosi (Grand Island) had 12 kills as D'Youville won at Mercyhurst for its third straight win. Mercyhurst's Chad Proudman (Eden) had 11 kills.