For years Buffalo Men's Basketball just could not find a win at the M.A.C. Center at Kent State. Now it'seems three straight. This season UB faced an uphill climb to begin conference play not only in Akron, a narrow loss on Tuesday, but in the Golden Flashes, 10-4 in their own right.
Lamonte Bearden had a career day as the Bulls came out with the 76-67 win. The sophomore tallied 21 points, 8 assists, and 5 steals, joining Willie Conner (20 points) atop the box score. Star Kent forward Jimmy Hall was held to 10 points, but Xavier Pollard scored 21 for the Golden Flashes
UB led by a wide margin from the get-go, but ceded a Kent run late in the first half to hit the break at 34-34. Miscue after miscue allowed the Golden Flashes back in the game after UB again opened up a double digit lead in the second half, but the hosts ran out of time as UB avoided a second straight late swoon, trading buckets after the final media timeout and hitting key free throws in the final minute.
Despite the foul trouble, Buffalo made the most of their opportunities, shooting over 50% from the floor and 8-17 from distance. Five players in addition to Conner and Bearden scored five or more points.
The Bulls are 1-1 in MAC having seen perhaps the conference's two top teams, and now stay on the road Tuesday to take on Eastern Michigan, who are led by dynamic guard Raven Lee. We'll have much more on this one in tomorrow's takeaways.