It was a tough night on the hardwood for local basketball fans, as three Bahamians were eliminated in the opening round of the postseason on Thursday.
Most brackets were ruined following Deandre Ayton and the Arizona Wildcats’ loss to Buffalo in the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament.
Number Four Arizona came in as heavy favorites but didn’t put up much of a fight in the 89-68 loss.
While Ayton had 14 points and 13 rebounds in the game, his defense left a lot to be desired.
Buffalo played a small, four-guard lineup, which forced Ayton to play outside of the paint for most of the match – one of the weaker parts of his game. Four Bulls players scored in double figures in the win.
Senior Wes Clark led the way with 25, and junior Jeremy Harris had 23 points and seven rebounds. Buffalo went 15-for-30 from three-point range, while the Wildcats shot just 2-for-18 from long distance.
Arizona’s offense also struggled the majority of the game.
There was very little player movement, and possessions usually ended up with either Ayton, junior guard Allonzo Trier and Rawle Alkins going one-on-one and settling for contested jumpers. Arizona finished just 29-for-64 from the field. Trier had 10 points on 4-for-15 shooting, and Alkins finished with eight points and five assists.
Also, in NCAA tournament action, Grand Bahama native Nathan Bain and the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks fell 70-60 to Texas Tech. Bain played just two minutes in the final game of the season. The junior forward averaged two points and 2.4 rebounds on the season.
And in CollegeInsider.com Tournament play, Travis Munnings had a huge all-around game for the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) Warhawks in an 80-66 loss to the Austin Peay Governors.
Munnings had 20 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals on 9-for-13 shooting from the field for ULM. Munnings closed out his best collegiate season on a high note. The 6’6” forward averaged 16 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.