BUFFALO, NY – Playing in front of the largest Alumni Arena crowd in almost 14 years, the University at Buffalo men's basketball team came away with a 92-86 win over Western Michigan to improve to 9-1 in Mid-American Conference play. The announced attendance of 6,670 was the most since March 8, 2004 and it set a record for the largest attendance in the current configuration of Alumni Arena, which was redone prior to the 2005-06 season.
UB improves to 17-6 overall, matching its win total from all of last season.
Buffalo shot 58.6% from the floor on the evening as five players score in double figures for the Bulls as they defeated the preseason MAC West favorites for the second time in two weeks. The Broncos held an early 9-7 lead in the contest when the Bulls went on a 12-0 run and never looked back. Buffalo got three-pointers from Wes Clark and Jeremy Harris, while a Nick Perkins jumper gave UB the 19-9 lead.
A three pointer from junior CJ Massinburg extended the Buffalo lead to 39-26 with 3:07 left in the opening half and the Bulls would go into the break with a 41-30 lead.
The Bulls continued their strong offensive game in the second half as UB shot 60.7% from the floor over the final 20 minutes of action. UB took its largest lead of the game at 54-40 with 15:39 left as Harris found a wide-open Dontay Caruthers under the basket for the easy layup.
Western Michigan pulled it to as close as five with 11:03 left, but UB scored five quick points including a dunk from Ikenna Smart and another triple from Harris. UB built its lead back up to 12 late on a three from Massinburg and the Bulls held on for the home victory.
The Bulls had a balanced scoring attack that saw five players reach double figures. After being held to single digits for just the second time this season on Tuesday, Massinburg finished with a team-high 26 points as he went 7-of-10 from the field and 9-of-12 from the free throw line. Massinburg also added six rebounds and four assists.
Perkins, who was honored as the most recent member of the 1,000-point club before the game, had 17 points and six rebounds. Harris finished with 16 points as he went a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range, while adding two blocks.
Clark nearly missed a double-double as he finished with 13 points, a career-high nine assists, and six rebounds. Sophomore Davonta Jordan added 10 points and six assists, while not committing a single turnover all game. Smart added six points, while Caruthers had four.
As a team, UB finished with 21 assists on 34 made baskets on the night. Western Michigan on the other hand had just eight assists for the night, one less than Clark had himself.
The Bulls held a narrow 33-32 advantage on the glass and led 21-11 in bench points.
The Broncos fell to 13-10 with the loss and 5-5 in the MAC. Thomas Wilder led Western Michigan with 34 points.
UB will return to the road for another two-game road trip beginning on Tuesday night at Central Michigan. Tip off is at 7pm on the game will air on ESPN3.