BUFFALO, NY - The Bryant & Stratton Buffalo Bobcats rallied from 15 points down in the second half to defeat the Erie Community College Kats 100-95 on Wednesday night inside ECC's home gym, the Burt Flickinger Athletic Center. Behind game highs of 33 points and 20 rebounds from senior Jonathan Range, the Bobcats scored 60 points in the second half to improve to 3-0 on the season and 1-0 on the road.
Range scored 17 points and grabbed 13 boards in the first half before scoring 16 over the final 20 minutes and helping BSC Buffalo secure the victory. Six different players played at least 20 minutes for Buffalo and five scored in double-figures. It is the program's first win over ECC after falling last season in BSC's inaugural season last year. Last season, the Kats advanced to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Final Four, finishing with an overall record of 27-6.
THE FAST BREAK
- BSC Buffalo started off the game hot, scoring the first five points of the game on a three ball by junior Damone Brown and a pull up jumper by Range.
- They extended the lead to seven and held the lead until the 11:35 mark of the first half when Ahamadou Fofana hit a three to put the Kats up by two, 21-19.
- BSC Buffalo quickly regained the lead after a Devin Redden free throw and another Range pull-up.
- Junior Tyrell Mitchell checked into the game at the 8:19 mark of the first half after missing the previous game due to injury. Just over a minute into his tenure in the game, he drilled a catch-and-shoot triple from the left wing to give the Bobcats a 27-25 lead.
- Range then scored the next five points for BSC which gave them a 32-28 advantage.
- ECC was able to close the half on a 19-9 run, fueled by Fofana who scored eight of the 19 points.
- The Kats extended the lead to 13 in the early stages of the half after Chris Stineman made two free throws. Following those, senior guard Jabari Hibbert connected on a jump shot to cut the deficit by two. Range then hit one of his own to get it back to single digits.
- ECC enjoyed it's largest lead of the game at 65-50 with just over 14 minutes left.
- BSC junior Taijay Williams hit a three to begin the momentum swing back in the Bobcats' favor. He drilled another one two possessions later to trim the deficit again. Sophomore Jason Mixon followed with a smooth move in the paint to finish at the basket.
- Eventually, ECC was able to get the last back up to 11 with 9:03 left (78-67). Range then hit two free throws to get it to nine. On the ensuing possession, Range secured a defensive rebound and threw a perfect outlet pass to Mitchell who laid the ball in on the fast break. Brown then hit two free throws to cut the deficit to five, 78-73 with 7:27 left.
- After the Kats answered with a bucket inside, Range made four consecutive free throws from a shooting foul and ECC technical foul. That brought the deficit within just one possession, 80-77 with 6:50 left.
- Two possessions later, after a Hibbert steal, sophomore Jeriah Williams emphatically threw down a one-hand fastbreak jam to bring the deficit to just one, 80-79.
- BSC eventually tied, and regained the lead with 4:29 when Mitchell side-stepped a defender and was able to finish while being fouled. He finished the old-fashioned three-point-play and gave the Bobcats a 84-83 lead.
- After ECC tied the game at 84, the Bobcats rattled off six straight points on basket by Mitchell, an alley-oop slam by Range, and two more free throws by Range to push the BSC lead to six, 90-84 with 1:34 left.
- ECC got within one, 92-91 with 48 seconds left but Mitchell scored on the ensuing possession which ultimately won the game. Freshman Davon Ware, who was tough as nails on defense in the second half, sealed the game with three straight free throws before Brown put the finishing touches on the game with a lay-up off a homerun pass.
- Range had five of his 20 rebounds on the offensive glass. BSC edged ECC on the glass, 49-46.
- Mitchell scored 16 points off the bench in 21 minutes of action after spending the better part of the last two weeks nursing an injury. He also added three rebounds and three assists.
- Brown scored 13 and hit two triples to go along with four rebounds and two assists.
- Hibbert remains perfect from the floor this season, going 4-of-4 for 10 points while dishing out a team-high five assists and also racking up two steals, a block and a rebound.
- Taijay Williams gave the Bobcats key minutes off the bench, scoring 10 points, including key back-to-back trey balls in the second half. He also had three rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes.
- Ware played 22 minutes and was tasked with guarding ECC's leading scorer, Fofana, who he slowed down in the second half, holding him to 3-of-8 shooting over the final 20 minutes and helping lead the Bobcats team defense which forced ECC to shoot just 27.9 percent in the second half. Ware also added seven points and two assists.
- Mixon gave the Bobcats some quality minutes as well. He scored six points which included a big put-back slam in the first half. He also had five rebounds and only missed one shot.
- Jeriah Williams' number was called late in the second half, but he was more than ready. He had that big fastbreak slam, three rebounds and a block in five minutes.
- Demistrius Reed also provided high-pressure defense in his time off the bench.
- Seniors Jordan Street and Mick Snowden started for the Bobcats and were plagued with some foul trouble. Snowden scored two points on his only shot and added an assist, while Street added three rebounds and an assist.
- BSC shot 50 percent for the game and 54.5 percent in the second half.
- ECC shot 79.4 percent (27-34) from the free throw line, while the Bobcats shot 75 percent (27-36).
- BSC had 19 assists on 33 field goals.
- The Bobcats had a slight edge in bench points (42-39). ECC had the slight edge in second chance points (16-14).
WHAT THEY SAID
"Our guys showed a lot of heart today," BSC Buffalo Head Coach Damone Brown said. "We took their best punch and countered with a flurry of our own down the stretch. We got down, didn't panic, and got it done. Our composure was key down the stretch. We have continue to learn and build off this though. We can't be satisfied."
The Bobcats will hit the road for their second straight road game on Saturday, November 16th when they head to Pittsburgh to take on the Point Park University Pioneers at 7 p.m. The Pioneers are 2-2 this season and are coming off a three game road trip to Miami where they went 1-2 against high level NAIA opponents. They opened the trip with a 99-85 defeat of last year's USCAA top-seed Florida National and followed that with competitive losses at St. Thomas University and Johnson & Wales University. They will play at Penn State New-Kensington on Friday before hosting the Bobcats. The Pioneers are apart of the River States Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). They finished last season 9-18 (5-12 RSC).
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