Bulls Rally Past Eastern Michigan For First Conference Win

Bulls Rally Past Eastern Michigan For First Conference Win

YPSILANTI, MI – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team picked up its first Mid-American Conference win on Saturday afternoon as the Bulls defeated Eastern Michigan, 77-68.  UB outscored the host Eagles 42-30 in the second half.

Eastern Michigan got out to the quick start as the Eagles built a 16-8 lead seven minutes into the game.  EMU continued to lead by eight at 22-14 when the Bulls answered by scoring 10 straight points over a three-minute period to take a 24-22 lead.  UB led by as many as three points in the opening half, but went into the break down by a possession, 38-35.

Eastern Michigan extended its lead to five early in the second half, but then the Bulls answered with an 11-3 run as a pair of free throws from Willie Conner put UB ahead 46-43.  The Eagles went back ahead 54-48 with 12:11 remaining, but then the Bulls went on a game-changing 17-2 run over a five-minute period as a layup from Conner put UB ahead 65-56 with 7:00 minutes left.  Five different Buffalo players scored during the run.

The Eagles came back though as they pulled within a single point, 67-66, with 4:16 left, but then the UB defense buckled down allowing just two Eastern Michigan points for the remainder of the contest as Buffalo ended the game on a 10-2 run, hitting its final six free throws over the final 50 seconds.

The Bulls had four players in double figures as the starting five accounted for 68 points, 66 of those coming from the four double-digit scorers.

Senior Blake Hamilton finished with 21 points, including a 12-of-12 performance from the free throw line.  Sophomore CJ Massinburg had his first career double-double with 18 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.  Massinburg also added three assists and a steal.

Conner had 15 points, while sophomore Nick Perkins, playing in front of his hometown crowd, finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.

Redshirt sophomore Dontay Caruthers came off the bench and led the Bulls with four assists, while adding three steals, two points, and two offensive rebounds.  Freshman Quate McKinzie finished with five points and five rebounds.

Buffalo outrebounded Eastern Michigan on the afternoon, 46-36, including pulling down 17 offensive rebounds, which tied a season-high.

The loss for Eastern Michigan was their first at home this season as they fell to 9-6 overall and 1-1 in conference play. Willie Mangum IV led EMU with 17 points.

Buffalo will play its first Mid-American Conference home game on Tuesday night when the Bulls host Ohio at Alumni Arena.  Tipoff is set for 7:00 pm.