Tuesday night's game against Miami in Oxford, Ohio couldn't not have ended any worse for University at Buffalo forward Blake Hamilton.
On a night when the senior forward scored his season-low five points, Hamilton fouled the RedHawks' Dion Wade with 1.1 seconds to play in a tie game. Wade made the first free throw to give Miami a 75-74 victory in what may be a costly loss for the Bulls when the look back on it come Mid-American Conference Tournament title. UB was trying to win its third in a row for the first time this season and even its record at .500. Instead the Bulls fell to 9-11 overall and 3-3 in the MAC. Miami is 9-11 and 2-5 in the conference.
UB seemed on its way to easily winning its fifth straight on Miami's home court, Millet Hall. The Bulls zoomed to a 31-15 lead. Then they began to falter, Miami ended the half on a 7-0 run to get back in it (38-31) and drew within two points 45-43 early in the second half.
Nick Perkins of the Bulls went on a personal 9-0 run to put UB in front 54-43, but the Bulls began to fall in love with the three-point shot. Fouls didn't help. At one points in the second half UB had 11 personal fouls to 3 for Miami. UB never did get in the penalty situation.
Miami finally pulled even at 64 on a pair of free throws by Michael Weathers with 4:21 left and Marcus Weathers, Michael's twin brother, put his team in front, 66-64 with a layup. UB came back to tie the game four more times before Wade was fouled with time almost expired. UB called two time outs in a row, but Mills converted to win it.
Perkins led UB with 20 points. Willie Conner and C.J. Massinburg had 16 each. Marcus Weathers had 18 before fouling out and Michael Weathers 16 for the RedHawks. Jake Wright added 14 for Miami. Perkins and Conner both came off the bench for UB. Between the two of them, they outscored the five UB starters, 36-35.
UB made only 6 of 29 three-point tries for 20.7 while Miami was more selective, 6 of 17. The Bulls ended up with 24 fouls called to 20 for Miami.
The Bulls made 25 of 62 firle goals tris for 40.3 percent. Miami was 25 of 55 for 45.5.
At the free-throw line, UB made 18 of 27 (66.7) to 19 of 29 (65.5) for Miami. UB had a 41-31 advantage in rebounding led by David Kadiri's 10.
The University at Buffalo women will go for their fourth straight win in Mid-American Conference play Wednesday night when Ball State visits Alumni Arena (Radio 1520AM, 7 p.m.) It doesn't figure to be an easy task, however. The visiting Cardinals (13-6, 6-1 MAC) are tied for first in the MAC's West Division with Central Michigan and also have won their last three. Ball State's only loss in conference play was at Central Michigan, 101-92. UB handed Central its first conference loss last Saturday, dropping the Chippewas into a tie for the MAC West lead and avenging an 88-71 loss at CMU on Jan. 7.
Ball State is led by 6-foot-5 senior center Renee Bennett who averages 16.6 points a game. Bennett, who has improved yearly through her four seasons at the Muncie, Ind., school, went over the 1,000-point mark for her career in Saturday's win at Bowling Green. Also, sophomore guard Carmen Grande ranks among the national leaders in assists at 7.9 a game. Ball State defeated the Bulls twice last season, including a 59-57 decision at Alumni Arena.
UB senior JoAnna Smith played her best game of the season as she netted 29 points, moving into 15th place on the Bulls all-time scoring charts, in the victory over Central Michigan. Two freshmen, Theresa Onwuka and Summer Hemphill, continued their strong play. Onwuka netted 14 points and four rebounds while Hemphill finished with 10 points and nine rebounds. Junior Stephanie Reid tied here career high with 12 assists. UB's defense produced 24 points off Central Michigan turnovers.
In Atlantic 10 Conference play, St. Bonaventure (8-12, 3-5 A-10) goes for its third win in a row against Davidson (3-16, 1-6 A-10) at 7 p.m. in the Reilly Center. Veterans Gabby Richmond and Mariah Ruff continue to stand out for Bona, but lately freshman Jalisha Terry has been a major contributor. Terry averaged 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists in victories over Massachusetts and Duquesne last week.