COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The greatest basketball season in the University at Buffalo’s history came to an end Friday.
The Bulls lost a 68-62 decision to West Virginia University in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
UB weathered a ferocious West Virginia press to pull even, 62-62, with 2:41 to go. But the Bulls could not get another bucket. A three-point shot with just one second on the shot clock by West Virginia’s Jevon Carter with 28 seconds left was the decisive play. It put the Mountaineers ahead, 67-62.
UB, champion of the Mid-American Conference, ended its season 23-10.
UB got 16 points from Xavier Ford, 15 from Shannon Evans and 13 from Justin Moss.
West Virginia’s full-court press was a bit too tough for UB to handle. West Virginia led the nation in forcing turnovers, causing 19.6 a game. UB made 17 turnovers.
West Virginia, ranked No. 18 in the country, advanced to a third-round game Sunday against either Maryland or Valparaiso.
UB arguably lost the game in the first nine minutes, when it fell behind, 20-9.
UB’s problem wasn’t so much breaking the press in the backcourt. UB was able to get the ball over half court. But in attempting to take advantage of the West Virginia defense before it could set up in the half court, UB was too carless with the ball. The press forced UB to play offense at an uncomfortable tempo, and UB could not convert enough of its offensive chances.
UB made 12 first-half turnovers in falling behind, 36-26 at intermission.