Strong Second Half Lifts Bulls To First Ever 4-0 MAC Start

Jeremy Harris

BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team outscored the visiting Miami (OH) RedHawks 48-33 in the second half as the Bulls came away with an 82-66 victory, propelling UB to its first ever 4-0 start in the MAC.  The Bulls have now won five in a row as they improve to 12-5 on the season.

The first half was tight throughout as the visiting RedHawks held a pair of three-point leads.  With the contest tied at 21-21, the Bulls went on a 13-6 run, capped off on a three from senior Wes Clark, giving Buffalo the 34-27 lead. However, the RedHawks hit back-to-back threes to end the half as Buffalo took a 34-33 lead into the break.

In the second half, UB shot nearly 57% from the field and more impressively, turned the ball over just once, which was 18 seconds in.  Over the final 19:42 of the game, UB had zero turnovers and 13 assists.  After Miami scored the first basket of the half to take the lead, the Bulls responded by going on a 12-0 run, which ended in back-to-back triples from junior Jeremy Harris to give UB a 46-35 lead. 

From there, the Bulls continued to build on their lead.  UB got a pair of three pointers from freshman Jayvon Graves to go up by 15 and a layup from Clark with 2:11 left put the Bulls ahead, 80-60.  The Bulls took their largest lead of the afternoon on a layup from redshirt freshman Brock Bertram with 52 seconds left, giving Buffalo the 82-61 lead before Miami ended on late 5-0 run.

Both Harris and junior CJ Massinburg had double-doubles as the Bulls had four players in double figures in scoring.  Harris tied his career high with 23 points, while adding 10 rebounds, two assists and a steal.

Massinburg, who was presented with his 1,000-point ball prior to the game, had 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.  Massinburg also added four assists and a block.  He moved into a 16th place tie with Mitchell Watt on UB's all-time scoring list with 1,061 points.

Clark finished with 14 points, four rebounds, and seven assists, while junior Nick Perkins had 15 points and five boards.

Graves added nine points off the bench, while sophomore Davonta Jordan had two points and five assists, while not turning it over at all.

The Bulls outrebounded Miami, 40-36, while UB also held advantages in points off turnovers, second chance points, fast break points, and bench points.

The 12-5 start for the Bulls is their best start through 17 games since 2014-15, which was Buffalo's first NCAA Tournament Team.

The Bulls have now recorded 19 or more assists in six of their last nine games and they have had 11 or fewer turnovers in each of their last four.  Offensively, Buffalo is averaging 88.4 points per game during its current five-game winning streak.

UB will remain home on Tuesday night when the Bulls shoot for 5-0 in league play when they host Northern Illinois.  Tipoff is set for 7pm.