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Buffalo Bulls Men’s Basketball wins in late game thriller at CMU 99-93, Massinburg closes the deal and finishes with 20

Give me CJ Buckets, or give me death.

Photo Courtesy of UB Athletics

Let the victory bell keep ringing, because Buffalo Bulls Men’s Basketball is bringing their fifth straight win back to Alumni Arena. In a high scoring uptempo affair with Central Michigan, the Bulls rallied late thanks to amazing play from none other than CJ Massinburg. On the way to the 99-93 victory, the Bulls saw one of their best team performances, netting six players in double-figures.

The Bulls opened up matching shot for shot with the Chippewas at the same pace as their last matchup in Alumni Arena. CMU’s Scott DaRohn sent in a dunk to tie it all up at 12 until Buffalo really hit their stride.

In no time at all, UB erupted from beyond the arc. Willie Conner fired deep to open the floodgates for Massinburg and Hamilton to send in triples of their own. After their respective threes, Conner sent in one more and Buffalo found themselves with a 28-19 advantage over the Chips with 8:37 left in the half. The icing on the cake: CMU’s Marcus Keene — the nation’s leading scorer — was scoreless and nowhere to be found.

Both teams evened out again from there as Buffalo was able to hang onto their lead. Going into the half it was a 42-35 advantage for the Bulls with Willie Conner leading the way at 11 points.

Staying to within three or four points early in the second half, CMU soon fell behind again as Massinburg and Hamilton unloaded from three to bring it to a 59-49 advantage. As of late, the Bulls have been getting a lot of offense from Dontay Caruthers and we saw it again as he sent in a layup to make it 63-51.

Cruising to a win with a 71-57 lead, the Bulls hit a road block. Struggling to score, CMU’s Marcus Keene found his groove and shot lights out and clawed the Chippewas back into the game. Before the Bulls knew it, the game was lead by just one point at 76-75 and with six and a half minutes left.

With 1:19 left in the game, the Chippewas’ Braylon Rayson sunk a triple and later a free throw to tie the game up at 93. This game was coming down to the last shot.

Well, at least until CJ Massinburg stole the show.

Like he’s shown many times before and without any fear, Massinburg laid in a clutch shot with 42 seconds left to put the Bulls up 95-93. On the next possession, he drew a foul and went to the line and drilled both shots. He still wasn’t done. With seven seconds left in the game, the sophomore guard drew one last final to put the final nail in CMU’s coffin and win the game 99-93.

Willie Conner had the most points of the night with 22 and scintillated from beyond the arc, hitting four shots. Massinburg finished with a near double-double at 20 points and 9 rebounds. He also hauled in 5 assists. Blake Hamilton once again had a near triple-double effort, 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. Three more Bulls were able to get into double figures tonight: Caruthers (12), Kadiri (12), and Perkins (11).

With their fifth straight win, Buffalo now moves to 8-5 in the MAC, right in the thick of the MAC quarterfinal bye hunt. The Bulls now have an incredibly favorable schedule to close out MAC play, with four of the next five games in Alumni Arena. Next up, is a rematch with Miami on Saturday at 3:30 PM.