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Buffalo Bulls Men’s Basketball triumphs over Bowling Green, 95-82, to clinch MAC East title

A bye to the MAC quarterfinals has been almost a guarantee under Nate Oats and co.

NCAA Basketball: Buffalo at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Bulls Men’s Basketball (20-7, 12-2 MAC) put on an offensive clinic on Friday night to defeat Bowling Green (16-11, 7-7 MAC), 95-82, in front of a crowd of over 5,700 at Alumni Arena. The win clinches not only the MAC East Division, but a bye to the quarterfinals in the MAC Tournament as well.

UB faced a tough challenge against the Falcons early in the game. Bowling Green had no problem sinking easy shots and led the Bulls by four with 12 minutes remaining in the first half.

But the Bulls’ slow start didn’t last for long. UB quickly kicked it into overdrive and churned out a 19-point swing and finished the half with a 51-36 advantage thanks to phenomenally balanced scoring attack of Jeremy Harris, Nick Perkins, CJ Massinburg, and Nick Perkins. Those four players went 7-12 from beyond the arc in the first half alone.

Although leading by a wide margin is the norm for Buffalo this season, there’s also been a trend of letting teams stay in the game. The Falcons kept that trend alive by chipping the deficit to five points in just four minutes thanks to quick baskets from Demajeo Wiggins and Justin Turner.

Buffalo managed to get back into a rhythm though, preventing a second half collapse and steamrolled through the remaining minutes thanks to strong transition play, excellent three-point shooting, and knocking down free throws when the opportunity came.

The result: A 13-point win that sends UB to Cleveland with another quarterfinal bye—something that’s quickly becoming the standard for Bulls Basketball under head coach Nate Oats.

Massinburg lead the way for Buffalo with 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists; snapping a small dry spell from the previous two games. Perkins and Harris weren’t far off from Massinburg, finishing with 22 and 19 points respectively.

Wes Clark, UB’s lone senior, was the only other Bull to finish in double figures with 14 points. He also added five rebounds and four assists to his stat line.

Tonight’s box score is a huge indicator of UB’s ceiling. Buffalo shot over 50 percent from the floor and an outstanding 60 percent from the three-point arc in an effort that saw 24 team-assists and just eight turnovers. If Buffalo can put together 40 minutes of good defense with offense like that, they are unstoppable in this conference.

Buffalo hits the road on Tuesday as they now gun for the regular season MAC title, ensuring at least an NIT bid. The Bulls will square off with Miami (OH) at 7:00 p.m. with the game being streamed on ESPN3.