BUFFALO, NY – The visiting Ball State Cardinals went on a 19-7 run over the final five minutes on Saturday afternoon as the Cardinals defeated the University at Buffalo men's basketball team, 92-77. The loss spoiled a career day from senior David Kadiri, who recorded his first double-double with career highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Ball State led throughout the first half opening an early 15-8 lead. A three pointer from Tahjai Teague gave the Cardinals a double-digit lead, but the Bulls were able to fight back as a three pointer from CJ Massinburg pulled UB within four at 27-23 with 6:44 left. Buffalo pulled even closer as it trailed just 33-31 with 3:11 left when Ball State ended the half on a 10-3 run to take a 43-34 lead into the break.
Ball State scored the first two points of the second half, but then the Bulls answered by going on a 15-3 run over the next four minutes, taking their first lead of the game at 49-48. Kadiri had seven points during the run, which was capped off on a Massinburg three. Following a Ball State basket, senior Will Conner hit a triple to put the Bulls up by two and UB remained up two following a put-back dunk from Kadiri with 13:44 left, however that would be UB's last lead of the afternoon.
Ball State scored seven straight points to go back up 59-54 with 11:44 left, but UB was able to tie it one more time as a Kadiri layup made it 67-67 with 7:28 remaining. The Cardinals answered by scoring six straight points before UB cut the deficit to three, 73-70 with 4:32 left. Ball State then went on an 11-0 run to put the game out of reach. Ball State took its largest lead of the game at 16 with 56 seconds left.
Kadiri had career-highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds as he went 11-of-13 from the floor, while adding two blocked shots. This marked the third straight game that Buffalo has had at least one player record a double-double.
Ball State improved to 11-6 and 2-2 in the MAC as the Cardinals won their second straight game. They had six players in double figures including three different players with 17 points. Tayler Persons had 17 points and six assists to lead the way.
The Bulls will head back on the road Tuesday night when they face Kent State inside the M.A.C Center at 7:00 pm.