Buffalo Bulls Men’s Basketball did just about everything except lock down the perimeter in their most recent loss to Akron. Dropping the game 89-83, the Bulls annihilated the Zips in rebounding, drew plenty of fouls, and saw several players step up to try and claw back into the game. Alas, when the opposing team shoots 59% from beyond the arc, that is no bueno.
UB held the lead tonight for only a very short time at 2-0, and from there Akron went off. The Zips piled on a 14-2 run that quickly sucked the life out of Alumni Arena. Finally, life showed in the Bulls when Massinburg bricked a free throw and had the rebound sent towards him to sink a three. UB managed to stay within fighting distance and trailed 38-33.
The second half was another poor start for the Bulls as Akron piled on a 16 point lead with a three-pointer bonanza. Maintaining that lead until 10 minutes, UB gave themselves a chance thanks to Blake Hamilton’s cunning ability to drive into the lane and get fouls. Unfortunately, a late Akron three-pointer from Jimond Ivey was symbolism of the Bulls’ ineptitude to defend the three in this game.
It’s amazing that UB stuck around in this game considering Akron’s hot shooting, but look no further than the Bulls’ rebounding. Being the most “athletic” team in the conference has its perks as the Bulls brought in 42 rebounds to Akron’s 22. That alone could win a game had Akron faltered from beyond the arc.
UB also held an extreme advantage drawing foul shots, nailing 30 of their 37 free throw attempts.
Buffalo was lead by another impressive stat line from Blake Hamilton at 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. I’m going to keep beating a kick drum that this guy deserves a shot in the NBA, especially if Richaun Holmes is talented enough to be on the 76ers roster. Willie Conner and CJ Massinburg also had big nights. Conner had 18 and Massinburg pulled a double-double out of his hat with 17 and 10.
It was the perfect atmosphere for a MAC Championship rematch in Alumni Arena. A reported 6,598 came to the game, 15 short of UB’s #Operation6000 senior night game with Bowling Green two years ago. UB’s ticket office sold no general public tickets for both bleacher sections and allotted them only to students. It’s by far the best student attendance in UB’s history at a men’s basketball game. I’ll update you when we get a number.
Buffalo now takes a road trip to Athens, Ohio to play the Bobcats on Tuesday. That game will tip at 6:00 PM. The game will also air on CBS Sports Network.