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BC-BKC--T25-Buffalo-Ohio

March 6, 2019
AP Sports Writer

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — Jeremy Harris scored 20 points as No. 19 Buffalo locked up the Mid-American Conference regular-season title and a top seed in the conference tournament with an 82-79 win over Ohio on Tuesday night.

Nick Perkins and CJ Massinburg each chipped in 17 points as the senior-laden Bulls (27-3 overall, 15-2 MAC) won the conference title for the second straight year and tied the school record for wins set last year when the team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Bobcats (13-16, 5-12) didn’t go quietly after being embarrassed by the Buffalo on Feb. 19 in a 114-67 rout that saw the Bulls make a school record 19 3-pointers. Doug Taylor had 20 points for Ohio and Teyvion Kirk added 17.

The Bulls were nearly as deadly from long range this time in Ohio, hitting 15 of 34 attempts.

Ohio was competitive in the first half, but didn’t have an answer for the barrage of 3-pointers by the Bulls, who were 11 for 20 from beyond the arc before the intermission. Buffalo made only one shot from the field that wasn’t a 3-pointer in building a 41-35 lead at the half.

Perkins was 3 for 3 from 3-point range off the bench in the first half and five players had at least one.

Ohio has lost eight of 11.

BIG PICTURE

Buffalo: Coach Nate Oats captured lightning in a bottle this season with a team that could make some noise in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulls’ 27 wins are tied for the most in school history. They set a school record with 27 wins last season, when they reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Ohio: The Bobcats have improved in the last month of the season, upsetting Bowling Green, winning at Akron and putting a scare into Buffalo. They had some bright spots this season but will finish in the MAC East cellar.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Bulls are in position to remain ranked for a MAC record 18th straight week, extending their record for a MAC team. The last time a MAC school was ranked in the AP Top 25 was 2008, when Kent State was No. 23.

UP NEXT

Buffalo: Finishes regular season at home Friday against Bowling Green.

Ohio: Hosts Miami in season finale on Friday.

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Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy

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