BOWLING GREEN, OH – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team was firing on all cylinders Friday night as the Bulls ended the regular season with a dominating 100-70 win at Bowling Green. The Bulls led wire-to-wire as they claimed their first outright Mid-American Conference Regular Season title.
The Bulls finished the regular season with a 23-8 record, tying the school record for wins. UB is 15-3 in MAC play, the first MAC team to win 15 conference games in a season since Kent State in 2005-06. The Bulls shot 50% or better for the 10th straight game on Friday, as they were 56.7% from the floor, including just under 65% in the second half.
UB hit seven of its first eight shots in the nationally televised contest and never looked back as it beat Bowling Green for the ninth straight time. Buffalo raced out to an 18-5 lead just five minutes into the game as freshman Jayvon Graves hit a triple for the Bulls. A layup by Davonta Jordan with 12:31 left gave the Bulls a 27-10 advantage.
Bowling Green had one run in them during the first half as the Falcons were able to pull within eight, but following a Buffalo timeout, UB took control for the remainder of the night. UB answered with five straight points, capped off on a three from CJ Massinburg to pull the Bulls ahead 43-30. UB scored half a century in the half as it took a 50-37 lead into the break.
The Bulls came out in the second half and dominated the action, putting the game away early on. UB opened the half on an 11-2 run as a steal and fast-break dunk from Massinburg gave the Bulls a 61-39 lead. Another 8-0 run for UB gave the Bulls a 30-point advantage with 11:48 as a layup from Nick Perkins put the Bulls ahead 74-44 with 11:48 left.
The Falcons cut it to 26 when the Bulls hit back-to-back threes in the wildest fashion. It began with Massinburg, who was looking to push the pace and make a long pass to Perkins, but his pass was off the mark and looked to be heading out of bounds, however it banked off the backboard and in for one of the most unconventional three-pointers you will ever see.
Junior Jeremy Harris then hit an uncontested three-pointer as Bowling Green called timeout with the Bulls ahead 87-55.
Buffalo got its lead up to as many as 33 following a Harris layup and a late bucket from redshirt freshman Brock Bertram gave UB 100 points for the fourth time this season and the 100-70 win. The four 100-point performances were the most by a UB team since the 1964-65 season.
The Bulls had five players in double figures, led by 19 points each from Massinburg and Perkins. Massinburg was 7-of-12 from the field, while finishing with three assists, a block, and two steals. Perkins just missed the double-double with nine rebounds.
Harris added 17points and five rebounds, while Graves finished with 12 points and three rebounds, including two offensive boards. He also had three assists.
Bertram added five points and three rebounds in five minutes of action, while Davonta Jordan had four points, but finished with a game-high six assists, while finishing with no turnovers.
As a team, the Bulls did not turn the ball over once during the first half on Friday night, while Bowling Green had eight first-half turnovers.
Buffalo outrebounded Bowling Green 38-37 for the game, holding a 22-16 advantage on the boards in the second half. UB also held a 46-24 lead in the paint, 20-4 in points off turnovers, 14-11 in second chance points, and 19-3 in fast-break points.
The Bulls will now turn their attention to the Mid-American Conference Tournament, which will start for Buffalo on Thursday at Noon in the MAC Quarterfinals at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH. UB's opponent for that game will be determined on Monday night following the conclusion of the MAC Tournament First Round games.