Buffalo Bulls Men’s Basketball put together a blistering effort on offense to secure a win over Central Michigan on Tuesday. Heading out onto a road trip tonight, the Bulls secured their second straight victory with another amazing performance against the Ball State Cardinals. Winning 96-69, the Bulls played a full 40 minutes of basketball as Blake Hamilton and Nick Perkins dominated from all over the floor.
Despite the blowout ending, this game remained a tight one for much of the first half. Seven minutes in, Blake Hamilton landed a jumper to tie up the game at 14. Ball State had done a great job at forcing the ball into the post for easy buckets but good news for the Bulls was the Cardinals lack of power from beyond the arc.
Staying neck and neck with the Cardinals, Buffalo began to pull away with five minutes left in the first half. Nick Perkins was an all-out machine and drained two consecutive threes and drew a foul. Converting both free throws, UB had a solid 44-38 lead heading into the half. If the Bulls could limit the Cardinals on defense just a tad more, it would be game over.
Minutes into the second half, Hamilton had another spurt of consecutive shots resulting in a made jumper and a three-ball. From there, we saw the resurgence of CJ “Buckets” Massinburg. Draining two more three-pointers, Massinburg helped open the lead to a 63-49 advantage.
UB promptly ran away with the game thanks to a strong last run by Willie Conner — sinking a couple threes and some layups — to cap off the best two game stretch this team has seen all season. Coming into today, Ball State had the best conference record in the MAC West division.
With scintillating defense in this particular showing, UB showed for the third straight game a high-octane offense. Including this game, the Bulls have scored 96, 101, and 90 in the last three. Whatever this team did after the loss to Miami worked and they’re on their way to extending a hot streak similar to UB’s first-ever MAC Championship run.
UB took one of the best shooting teams in the MAC and held them to just 27% from three. Meanwhile 50% from the field, 46% from three, and dominated rebounding 39-27.
Blake Hamilton is on his way to a shot at the next level with the way he’s playing as of late. Tonight, he had 25 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds. Teams neglecting to at least put him on a Summer League roster are crazy. Nick Perkins also finished the night with an amazing 21 points and 6 rebounds. But the best of all, UB’s depth finally showed up as 10 players scored the ball.
On Tuesday, they play Northern Illinois at home for their first Division I three-game winning streak this season.
But for now, the Mid-American Conference is on notice. When Buffalo puts together 40 minutes, they are a crazy good team. It’s up to them now if they want to blister through the rest of the schedule and possibly think of higher heights that a third straight MAC title.