All season, Buffalo Bulls Men’s Basketball has been missing just a few small pieces to put together some big wins. Look out, because after losing to the best team in the conference by a single point, the Bulls followed it up with a big 101-91 win over Central Michigan. The defense wasn’t the best, but we’ll give the Bulls a pass for this one considering the nation’s leading scorer was on the team.
It was well known that the Bulls were going to need a hot offensive night to pull out a win. Good thing for UB, they made it clear that it was going to happen as well. Blake Hamilton and CJ Massinburg opened the game out with a barrage of transition layups and three-pointers to put Buffalo up 14-9. The hot start slowed down a bit from there, but UB had set the tone.
CMU’s Marcus Keene — the nation’s leading scorer — soon found his rhythmn along with Braylon Rayson to keep the game close. Heading into the half, Buffalo had big minutes from Willie Conner, David Kadiri, and Nick Perkins to make it a 52-50 Buffalo lead.
The second half left CMU’s Keene frustrated as he was swamped on the perimeter and was forced to go inside and try and draw fouls. CMU continued to score the ball well, but with Keene unable to reach his season average of 30 points, the Chips’ chances weren’t looking good.
With a 73-70 lead, Willie Conner sent in a pair of layups while Massinburg and Hamilton rained more threes and UB had its largest lead of the game at 92-74 thanks to a Kadiri layup. The Bulls ran clock from there as the Chips poured in garbage time points.
Buffalo shot 50% on the night along with 42% from beyond the arc—something we haven’t seen too much of this year. Although they didn’t destroy the Chips on rebounds, UB definitely passed the eye test and looked good, especially when a three-pointer was bricked. UB also had one of their best nights from the line in a while shooting 71%.
Blake Hamilton had another amazing game tonight. With 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists he played like the Hamilton that was getting murmurs as a possible NBA draft prospect in the preseason. Four other Bulls finished in double figures on the night: Massinburg (19), Conner (18), a great performance from Kadiri (13), and Perkins (11).
Moving to 4-5 overall, UB would enter the MAC tournament as a #6 seed if it started today. Buffalo is back in action this Saturday when they take a trip to Ball State. That game will tip at 9:00PM and will air on ESPNU.
I’ll be sure to talk more about this game later this week.