BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo men's basketball team went on a 26-0 run in the first half on Tuesday night, pacing the way for an 83-69 win over Eastern Michigan at Alumni Arena. The victory was UB's eighth straight and seventh straight by double figures. Buffalo is now 15-5 on the season and a perfect 7-0 in MAC play.
The Bulls have now scored 80 or more points in eight straight games, the most by a MAC school since Marshall did it in seven straight back in the 1999-2000 season. Unlike previous games, the Bulls were able to do some damage from the free throw line, making 36 trips, hitting 27 of those.
It was a slow start for both teams as Eastern Michigan held the early 13-11 lead with 11:30 left in the first half. However, from there the Bulls got 17 straight stops on defense over the next nine and a half minutes, scoring 26 straight points. They hit four threes during the run as Nick Perkins and CJ Massinburg combined for 15 of the 26 points. The Bulls built their lead to 37-13 with 2:54 left and took a 39-17 lead into the break. The 17 points were tied for the fewest that UB has allowed in a half this season, doing the same at Akron.
The Bulls scored the first seven points of the second half as they built their lead all the way up to 29 following a three from Jeremy Harris, who had a monster second half. The Bulls led 46-17 when the Eagles began to make a run. A quick 9-0 run for EMU cut it to 46-26 and the Eagles were able to cut it all the way to 10 with 5:19 left. The Bulls got four straight points from Harris though to extend the lead to 72-58.
A big three pointer from sophomore Davonta Jordan gave UB a 75-59 advantage and the Bulls took the lead back to 18 following a jumper from Harris to give them a 79-61 lead. A put back layup by Massinburg with 46 seconds remaining put UB over the magical 80-point number for the eighth straight game and the Bulls held on for the 83-69 victory.
Harris led the way with 22 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, tying the most for a UB player this season. He scored 20 of those points in the second half and nine of those boards in the final 20 minutes. Harris also finished with four assists and a steal.
Massinburg added 18 points and four rebounds, while Perkins had 17 points, seven rebounds, and a career-high four assists. Senior Wes Clark added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists.
The Bulls, who lead the MAC in assists, added 19 more helpers to their total tonight on 23 made baskets. Four different players ended up with four assists on the evening. The Bulls finished with a season-high 48 rebounds, holding a plus-10 advantage on the glass.
The eight-game winning streak for the Bulls is their longest since the 2014-15 season when UB won the final six regular season games and two in the MAC Tournament to advance to their first ever NCAA Tournament. The Bulls have not won nine in a row since the 2008-09 season.
UB will get its opportunity on Friday night when the Bulls head to Ohio for a nationally-televised game on CBS Sports Network. The game will tip at 6:30 pm. This will begin a stretch of four the next five games on the road.