No. 21 Buffalo Men’s Basketball kicked off the Belfast Hall of Fame Classic with a 96-77 win over Milwaukee on Friday morning.
The game featured a rough start by the Bulls. No matter how well Nick Perkins or Jeremy Harris was shooting, Milwaukee answered and kept it a close game. With less than four minutes in the half, UB led by a slim margin of 29-27.
Then the Bulls turned on the heat.
Perkins hit a three and a layup to create a bigger scoring gap. Jeenathan Williams took over from there and made two shots before CJ “Buckets” Massinburg swished a three-pointer. A close game had all of a sudden turned into 43-32 Bulls advantage at the half.
Milwaukee kept up the defensive intensity for the rest of the game as their zone gave the Bulls all sorts of trouble, leading to a Milwaukee comeback. With ten minutes left in the contest, the Panthers had clawed their way back to just a four-point deficit at 65-61.
But just like in the first half, UB turned it up a notch.
After a string of made buckets, the Bulls all but sealed the deal. It’s crazy what UB pulled off in less than a minute of game time to bring the lead to 81-65: a tip-in by Perkins, a layup by Jayvon Graves, and morale-crushing three by Harris.
Harris lead the way in UB’s 50 percent shooting day with 21 points. Perkins wasn’t far behind with his 20-point, 9-rebound efforts. The duo combined for half of UB’s 14 made-threes in the game.
CJ Massinburg was the third Bull to reach double figures with 16, with Jeenathan Williams and Montell McRae coming close to that with 9 and 7 respectively.
UB will now play undefeated San Francisco tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. A Bulls win over USF would be nice padding to UB’s at-large resume.