HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) (Mar. 1) -- J.R. VanHoose scored 23 points to
lead Marshall to an 83-66 victory over Buffalo in the first round of the
Conference tournament on March 1.
Tamar Slay added 17 points, Cornelius Jackson had 11 and Travis Young
scored all 10 of his points in the second half for No. 5 seed Marshall
advances to Sunday's quarterfinals at Cleveland's Gund Arena.
No. 12 seed Buffalo (5-23) finished with nine straight losses, 13
straight on the road.
Down one at halftime, Buffalo went scoreless over the first four
minutes of the second half to enable Marshall to pull away. VanHoose got
three inside baskets
during an 18-6 run for a 56-43 lead with 13:02 remaining.
Buffalo answered with a 9-0 run, including five straight points from
reserve Davis Lawrence, to close within four. But Young and Slay hit
3-pointers to help push
the lead back to double-digits, 64-52, with 8:41 remaining. Buffalo got
Damien Foster and Michael Sinclair scored 13 apiece to lead Buffalo.
Buffalo, which lost twice to the Thundering Herd this season by an
average of 24 points, started four forwards and a center to combat
Marshall's bigger front line.
Jon Kleidon and Clement Smith, both 6-foot-7, had started a combined
seven games this season.
The move worked initially. Buffalo controlled the offensive boards 10-5
in the first half and got numerous inside baskets for a 20-18 lead eight
minutes into the
A 7-3 run to end the half saved Marshall from becoming only the sixth
team to allow Buffalo to hold a halftime lead.
Jackson became the first Marshall player to surpass 200 assists since
Mike D'Antoni had 228 in the 1972-73 season. He now has 205.
Buffalo made its first MAC tournament appearance while Marshall won its
first-ever tournament game.