BUFFALO, NY -- In their second game of the Villa Maria Holiday Classic, the Bryant & Stratton College - Buffalo Bobcats fell to the Stratford University Cardinals, 85-71. For the Bobcats, this game marked the third loss in their last four games after being ranked fourth in the nation by the USCAA National Men's Basketball Coach's Poll. In that same poll, the Stratford University Cardinals were ranked seventh.
Rankings aside, this match up looked like a good one. Stratford University came into the contest after a close one point loss to Bobcat crosstown rival, Villa Maria. Further, Bryant & Stratton College - Buffalo had just picked up a good win versus Sheridan College, and earlier in the year, knocked off Villa Maria in overtime.
Looking at that information alone, what one expected was a battle.
In the first half, both teams looked to establish themselves early. However, for the Bobcats, the usual suspects weren't firing on all cylinders.
Normally, this season, the narrative has run that Nicc Johnson and Tyrell Mitchell get out in the open floor and on the scoreboard. Instead, Johnson went 1-6 from the three point line, and Mitchell contributed only 6 points. Another key to success for the Bobcats this season has been the strong play of Jordan Street. Street had 0 points and 3 rebounds at halftime.
Luckily, there to pick up the slack was Damone Brown Jr., knocking down a couple of three pointers. At halftime, Brown Jr. had a team high 8 points, and it was just enough to keep the Bobcats in the game, the Cardinals boasting a 7 point advantage at the midway point.
As the second half began, the Cardinals expanded their lead through the physical presence of Jashad Jamison and Ron Davis, who controled the boards and out-rebounded the Bobcats inside. With these second-chance opportunities, Jamison finished with 20 points and 9 rebounds, while Davis tallied a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
On the other end, the Bobcats continued to struggle to make a basket, shooting 39% in the second half. Damone Brown Jr. found the bottom of the net a couple of times from behind the arc, and Taijay Williams dialed in from deep, too, but even with Brown Jr.'s 14 points and William's contribution of 14 points, the Bobcats struggled to get anything going on in the paint. Johnson finished with 15 points and Mitchell with 16 points in uncharacteristic performances.
The Stratford University Cardinals improved to 10-2 on the year, while the Bryant & Stratton College - Buffalo Bobcats slipped to 7-5.
The Bobcats finish out the remainder of 2018 on the road at Point Park University on December 29th at 3pm. Earlier this year, Bryant & Stratton College - Buffalo was victorius against Point Park when they faced each other in Buffalo, NY at Burt Flickinger Arena.