Mar 01, 2018
Buffalo (22-8, 14-3 MAC) vs. Bowling Green (16-14, 7-10 MAC)
March 2, 2018
Stroh Center - 6:00 pm
Bulls on the Air
Radio - ESPN 1520-AM WWKB/TuneIn App
Television - ESPNU/WatchESPN App
• Having already clinched the #1 seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament, the Bulls will close out the regular season Friday night at Bowling Green looking to clinch the outright MAC Regular Season title with a win.
• Buffalo set a new record for MAC victories in a season on Tuesday night with their 14th Mid-American Conference win breaking the old record of 13, which was set during the 2013-14 season. With a win on Friday night, the Bulls will look to become the first MAC program to register 15 conference wins since Kent State in 2005-06. Going back to 1995-96, only three MAC programs have had 15 or more wins in a conference season: 1998-99 Miami (15), 2001-02 Kent State (17), 2005-06 Kent State (15).
• The Bulls tied their school record for home wins on Tuesday night as they picked up their 14th home victory for the first time since 1964-65. Buffalo owns the best home winning record nationally between its men's and women's programs as they are a combined 25-1. No other school in the nation has less than two losses.
• Buffalo scored 80 or more points for the 23rd time this season Tuesday night, the highest total in the nation. The Bulls are just ahead of Villanova, Duke, and South Dakota State, who have all done it 22 times.
• In 36 all-time meetings, the season series is tied between Buffalo and Bowling Green following UB's win over the Falcons on Feb. 16. The Bulls have won the last eight meetings in the all-time series against Bowling Green with their last loss coming on the road on Feb. 2, 2014
• With their win over Akron on Tuesday night, the Bulls completed regular season sweeps of perennial MAC powers Akron and Ohio for the first time in the same season. With a win over Bowling Green, UB will have swept the regular season series from three East schools in the same season for the first time since 2014-15 (Kent State, Miami, BG).
• Buffalo has shot 50% or better in nine straight games this season, including all eight games played in the month of the February. UB is the only team in the nation to shoot 50% or better eight times in February. No other school has done it more than six times.
• Bowling Green is 16-14 overall and 7-10 in league play entering Friday night's regular season finale. The Falcons have lost four straight, beginning with their last contest against Buffalo on Feb. 16. BG's most recent loss came Tuesday night at Ohio, 75-59. Bowling Green is looking to hold on to a home game in the MAC Tournament First Round with a win Friday night.
• Bowling Green has three players averaging in double figures, led by Justin Turner, who is averaging 15.7 points per game and also has 76 assists, which is second on the team. Demajeo Wiggins is second at 14.1 points, while he has a team-best 10.1 rebounds. Dylan Frye chips in 12.2 points per game.
• Justin Turner led Bowling Green with 23 points in the first meeting with the Bulls just two weeks ago, while Demajeo Wiggins added 13 points and 15 rebounds. UB scored 51 points in the opening half, taking a 15-point halftime lead.
• A 1994 graduate of Bowling Green State University, Michael Huger was named the 17th head men's basketball coach on April 17, 2015. The 2017-18 season marks Huger's third year in charge of his alma mater. Huger, who returned to BGSU, where he was a standout player for the Falcons from 1989-93, came to Bowling Green after four seasons at the University of Miami. He had spent eight total seasons as an assistant coach for head coach Jim Larrañaga, whom he played for at BGSU. Prior to following Larrañaga to Miami, Huger spent four seasons at George Mason where he helped lead the Patriots to the postseason every year. Before joining the coaching ranks, Huger played professional basketball in Europe, spending time in Finland (1992-94), two years in Holland (1994-96) and nine in Belgium (1996-2005).
Bulls Lock Up Top Seed Prior To Season Finale
Entering Friday night's game, Buffalo has already locked up the top seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament following their 80-68 win over Akron on Tuesday night. This will be the first time in school history that Buffalo heads to Cleveland as the top seed. While the Bulls have already clinched at least a share of the MAC Regular Season title, UB can win the title outright with a win over the Falcons or a Toledo loss to Eastern Michigan. Although the goal is to win in Cleveland and go to the third NCAA Tournament in four years, the #1 seed does assure UB an automatic bid into the NIT.
While Buffalo and Toledo has already secured the top two seeds, the other 10 spots are still up for grabs with multiple teams fighting for byes and home games. Eastern Michigan is the only other team to secure a bye to Cleveland. Ball State, Kent State, and Western Michigan are all fighting for the final bye.
The Bulls hit the magical 100-point number for the first time this season during their 106-87 victory at Niagara. The 106 points tied the school record for points scored in a road game, matching the total from March 2, 1974 at Rochester. It was only the fourth time ever that Buffalo had scored triple figures in a road game and it was the most points in a road game since a 100-92 win at Chicago State on November 21, 2001.
For the first time since the 1997-98 season, the Bulls hit 100 points in multiple games in the same season following their 104-94 win against Toledo in the MAC opener. UB set a new record for points in a MAC game on Saturday afternoon in Buffalo's 108-82 win over Ohio. It was the most points allowed by the Bobcats in a regular season game since 2010. Buffalo has the two highest scoring outputs during MAC in regulation games. The only higher scoring performance was 111 points by Ball State in a game that went to double overtime.
Junior CJ Massinburg became a member of the 1,000-point club in the MAC opener against Toledo as he scored 27 points against the Rockets. Massinburg is the 20th player to score 1,000 points for the Bulls and he is the seventh fastest to do so, achieving it in his 73rd career game, which is quicker than previous MAC Players of the Year Turner Battle, Mitchell Watt, and all-time leading scorer, Javon McRea.
After scoring just eight points in the opener, Massinburg has scored at least 20 points 11 times. He scored 30 at Delaware, the second time in his career he has done that. Twice this year, Massinburg has been named the MAC East Player of the Week and he is currently second in the MAC in scoring at 18.7 points per game. Massinburg is also UB's leading rebounder on the season, as he is averaging 8.3 boards per contest, which is fourth in the league. He has a team-high seven double-doubles on the year, including recording a career-high 14 boards at Delaware. The seven double-doubles are tied for second most in the Mid-American Conference. He was most recently named to the watch list for the Lou Henson Award, which is awarded to the nation's top mid major player.
Massinburg stuffed the stat sheet against Kent State, getting close to his first career triple-double with eight points, nine rebounds, and a career-high seven assists. Massinburg had 24 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists in the win over Bowling Green. Massinburg scored 15 points in the win over Ohio as he moved into 13th place on UB's all-time scoring list surpassing Rodney Pierce. Massinburg now has 1,236 career points and next up on the all-time scoring list is Rick Coleman, who played from 1987-91. He helped lead the Bulls to victory in the home finale with 26 points and 10 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season. He is in 12th place with 1,262 career points.
Mr. 1000 (Part 2)
Junior Nick Perkins got off to a fast start to the 2017-18 season as the Ypsilanti, MI native had a career-high 26 points in the season-opening win over Canisius. The 26 points were the most by a UB player in a season opener since Nikolai Alexeev had 26 against Niagara on November 19, 1999.
Perkins became the latest member of the 1,000 point club as he scored 20 points at Ohio on Jan. 26 to became the 21st player in school history to accomplish the feat.
Perkins came off the bench for the first time this season against Syracuse and he ended up leading the Bulls in scoring with 18 points, while also pulling down seven rebounds, including six offensive ones. Perkins has had some of his best games against Power 5 competition. In addition to 18 against Syracuse on Dec. 19, Perkins had 20 points as a freshman against Miami (FL) in the NCAA Tournament, and last season he added 23 points at Pitt. He added 17 points against SEC foe Texas A&M. Perkins had his first double-double of the year with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Toledo. He recorded back-to-back double-doubles following his 15 points and 11 rebounds at Ball State. Perkins has now come off the bench in 11 straight games and he is averaging 19.3 points per game in those contests. Perkins was named the MAC East Player of the Week following back-to-back wins to open conference play where he averaged 19.5 point and 10.5 rebounds.
Perkins tied his career high with 26 points in the win over Northern Illinois and he added 18 points and nine rebounds against Western Michigan to earned MAC East Player of the Week honors for the second time this season. Perkins averaged 24.0 points in two games against NIU this season as he added 22 in DeKalb. He currently leads UB in scoring in MAC play at 18.3 per game, which is fourth in the league. Perkins has scored in double figures in 20 straight games, all coming off the bench, including 21 in against Ohio in just 23 minutes of action. He added 14 points against Akron on Tuesday.
Wild, Wild Wes
The Bulls got a huge boost to their lineup prior to the Syracuse game on Dec. 19 as senior Wes Clark was cleared to play by the NCAA, marking his first collegiate game since February 13, 2016 when he played for Missouri. Clark, who joined UB last January, has been practicing with Buffalo since then, but he was finally able to play in his first game at Syracuse.
Clark scored 15 points and had six assists in his UB debut, picking up the start and playing 34 minutes. Clark added 17 points and eight assists against Texas A&M. Clark scored 27 points in his Alumni Arena debut on Dec. 29, scoring 13 of those points in the overtime period. It was a new career high for Clark as he scored 26 against South Carolina, while playing for Missouri.
He played his high school basketball for Buffalo head coach Nate Oats at Romulus High School right outside of Detroit, MI.
Clark had 25 points and five assists in the win over Toledo. Clark played his first ever college game in his home state of Michigan at Western Michigan and was impressive finishing with 17 points and nine assists. Clark had his second nine-assist game against the Broncos on Feb. 2, while adding 13 points. Clark added 21 points against Northern Illinois and 19 more against Kent State. Clark had his first double-double in a UB uniform with 12 points and a career-high 11 assists in the win over Ohio. Clark added 18 points and five assists in the Senior Day win over Akron and he now has 914 points and 327 assists in his career spanning Missouri and Buffalo.
One the most of anticipated newcomers is wearing #2 on the Buffalo team and that is junior college transfer Jeremy Harris, who came to UB from Gulf Coast College, where he was ranked as the second best junior college player in the nation by JUCORecruiting.com.
Harris had a pair of 17-point games during the Cayman Classic as he recorded double figures in scoring in all three games. He had17 points and six rebounds against nationally-ranked Cincinnati and added 17 points and four assists in the win over UAB. He had 11 points and five assists against South Dakota State. His best game so far came against Niagara as he finished with a career-high 23 points, going 5-of-8 from three-point range. He also added seven rebounds and six assists. Harris recorded his first career double-double against Central Penn and added 14 points and nine rebounds in the win over Robert Morris. Harris had a big afternoon against Ball State as he finished with 16 points in the win over the Cardinals. He followed that up by scoring a game-high 17 points in the win at Akron. Harris continued his tear through MAC play as he tied his career high with 23 points in the win over Miami, recording his second double-double as he had 10 rebounds.
Following the wins over Akron and Miami Harris was named the MAC East Player of the Week, the third straight week UB has done it with three different players. Harris tied for team-high honors with 20 points in the win at Western Michigan last Friday night, going 4-of-5 from behind the arc. Harris had one of his best all-around games on Tuesday against Eastern Michigan, finishing with 22 points and a career-best 14 rebounds, which was tied for the most by a UB play this year. He had another double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Ohio, his fourth of the year. Harris had 20 points against Kent State, the third time in a four-game stretch he had 20 or more points. He had a career high 24 points against Kent State on Feb. 13. He added 19 point against Bowling Green as he was named the MAC East Player of the Week for the third time this season. He is shooting 54.7% from the floor and 47.4% from three in MAC play, hitting 46-of-97 from behind the arc. He is fifth in the MAC in scoring in league games and second in the league in three-point field goal percentage and three-pointers made per game.
Dialing From Long Distance
The Bulls had one of their best games from behind the arc in school history in the loss at nationally-ranked Texas A&M on Dec. 21. The Bulls hit 17 three-pointers in the game, second in school history, and the most since hitting 18 against Troy State on Feb. 22, 1996 when UB went 18-for-40 in the contest.
Buffalo shot 17-of-39 from behind the arc against the Aggies as four players hit at least three triples, led by a career-high six three pointers from CJ Massinburg. Senior Wes Clark and juniors Jeremy Harris and Montell McRae each hit three. McRae was a perfect 3-of-3. The 17 three's made by the Bulls were the most by a MAC school against a Division I opponent this year. The Bulls had 12 made three pointers in the win over Bowling Green, setting a new school record for triples made in a season, besting the old mark set during the 2015-16 season. UB currently has 292 threes on the year.
It can be argued that sophomore Davonta Jordan is one of the most improved players in the nation from last season and that was capped off with his first career 20-point game at Delaware. Jordan averaged just 2.5 points per game last year, but this season he is averaging 7.5 points per game. Through 30 games, Jordan has 225 points, shattering the 76 he scored all of last year. He has 19 three-pointers, 17 more than last year. Jordan had 15 points in the win over Toledo, and he added eight points and four assists in the win over Akron. Jordan also leads the Bulls in assists with 128, which is fifth in the league. He is UB's active leader in career assists.
Leading The Charge
Head coach Nate Oats begins his third year on the Buffalo sidelines, having comprised a record of 37-30 during his first two years. He is the only coach in UB school history to record 20 wins in his first season as a head coach and his 37 wins in his first two years are the second most by a UB coach behind only Bobby Hurley, who had 42 wins over his first two years.
Oats surpassed his predecessor on Dec. 9 vs. Central Penn as he picked up his 43rd win in his 76th game as head coach. Oats recently moved past V. William Hughes (1978-82) for seventh place on the all-time wins list and he is the fourth fastest UB head coach to 50 wins and the quickest in UB's Modern Era. Oats is currently 59-38 as head coach for the Bulls.