BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team scored 101 points on Tuesday night, its most ever against a Mid-American Conference opponent in regulation as the Bulls took down Central Michigan, 101-91. Senior Blake Hamilton led the Bulls with 27 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists.
Central Michigan came into the game as the fourth highest scoring offense in the country, while featuring junior Marcus Keene, who led the nation in scoring, averaging over 30 points per game. Despite playing 39 minutes, the UB defense held Keene to 24 points, while forcing the junior to turn it over seven times. The Bulls took advantage of a CMU team that was towards the bottom of the nation in scoring defense, putting up 101 points, its most since the season-opener last year and its most against a Division I team since 2006 against Kent State in a double overtime affair.
The Chippewas, despite 24 points from Keene and 25 points from Braylon Rayson, never took more than a four-point lead in the contest, which they did in the first 90 seconds. The Bulls went on an early 11-2 run to erase that deficit, using a pair of three pointers from sophomore CJ Massinburg. The Chippewas regained a 38-35 lead with 5:34 left in the opening half, but UB answered with a 10-1 run to take its largest lead of the half, 46-39. The Chippewas came back to tie it at 50-50 before UB executed a perfect play before time expired as Hamilton found David Kadiri under the hoop for an easy two, giving UB a 52-50 lead into the break.
The UB defense, led by Massinburg, Willie Conner, Dontay Caruthers, and Davonta Jordan held Keene and Rayson to a combined 17 points in the second half as the Bulls outscored Central Michigan. 49-41. UB never trailed in the second half, but led by just three at 73-70 with 10:48 remaining when the Bulls went on a 19-4 run to break the game open, 92-74. A three pointer from Conner with 5:11 left gave the Bulls their largest lead of the night, 95-76. UB went over that magic century mark with 1:12 left on a pair of free throws from Conner.
Buffalo had five players in double figures, led by Hamilton's 27-point night. He is coming off a 33-point performance on Saturday night at Akron and Hamilton has also now fallen just shy of triple doubles in each of UB's last two home games.
Massinburg had 19 points and four assists as he went 6-of-11 from the floor, including 5-of-10 from behind the arc. It was the first time in Massinburg's career that he hit five three pointers in a game. Conner finished with 18 points, while Kadiri had 13 points and six rebounds. Nick Perkins added 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
Caruthers had four points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals as he played 32 minutes against the MAC's top scoring backcourt. All 10 players who saw the court for the Bulls found the scoring column on Tuesday evening.
The Bulls shot over 50% from the field for the second straight game as UB was 50.7% from the floor. It also marked the second straight contest that the Bulls shot over 42% from three-point range.
Buffalo will now go back on the road for a rematch with the Ball State Cardinals on Friday night. The game will tip at 9:00pm and it will air nationally on ESPNU.