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#21 Buffalo Men’s Basketball edges out San Francisco, 85-81, to stay undefeated

NCAA Basketball: Marist at Buffalo Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

No. 21 Buffalo Men’s Basketball will stay undefeated after a gritty 85-81 win over San Francisco on Saturday. The win gives Buffalo the Goliath Bracket Championship in the Belfast Hall of Fame Classic.

The game wasn’t close because Buffalo played a particularly bad game. San Francisco was just lights out for much the game and did the best job out of any team in a long time at playing uptempo basketball with the Bulls.

Five different Dons were able to register double-figures scoring by the end of the game and USF shot a whopping 59 percent from the field in the second half. If UB didn’t stay focused, this article would certainly about a Bulls loss right now due to USF being right on the cusp of running away all day.

But Buffalo had everything except the three-point shot going their way. Montell McRae, who has seen an incredible improvement like second-year JUCOs typically have under Oats, was the only Bulls player that could hit from deep.

Nick Perkins was the best offensive player on the floor in this one. For much of the game UB had no problem with dumping it down to him and letting the big man work his magic. But as the second half progressed and the UB lead remained slim, San Francisco started keying in on the 6-9 Forward.

That led to McRae and Davonta Jordan to pick up some slack, and as the duo got some shots to fall, UB had a small cushion at 71-63. But the Dons had no quit in them and they were finding all sorts of shots down low to get back into it.

A crucial, contested Jeremy Harris layup was able to seal the deal for Buffalo with 37 seconds to go, bringing the game to two possessions. From there, CJ Massinburg brought the game home with clutch 5-6 free throw shooting.

Perkins finished out the game with 22 points and 5 rebounds. This has been a fantastic weekend for him considering his 20-point performance against Milwaukee.

Harris was huge factor in today’s win with 15 and 8 rebounds in this one. Massinburg’s clutch charity-stripe shots put him up to 15 on what was an off-day for him. McRae’s perfect three-point-shooting night was good for 11.

Undefeated Buffalo will get back in action on Wednesday against Division II LeMoyne. That matchup in Alumni Arena begins at 7:00 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN3.