Bulls Overpower MAC West Leaders Ball State, 96-69

Bulls Overpower MAC West Leaders Ball State, 96-69

MUNCIE, IN – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team continued its strong offensive play and dominated the second half on Friday night, defeating the Ball State Cardinals, 96-69, at Worthen Arena.  UB has now scored over 90 points in three straight games for the first time since the 1994-95 season.

The Cardinals got out to an early 7-0 lead, but then the Bulls took over controlling the final 35 minutes of action.  Ball State led 14-8 when UB rattled off six straight points to tie the game up. Ball State led 17-16 with 11:32 left as Buffalo went on a quick 6-0 run to take a 22-17 lead.

Ball State led just one more time at 23-22 with 8:44 remaining when the Bulls went on a 13-5 run to take a 35-28 advantage.  UB took a 44-38 lead into the break thanks to the scoring of Nick Perkins and Blake Hamilton, who had 17 and 14 points in the first half, respectively.

UB outscored Ball State 52-31 in the second half as they allowed just five second half points to Franko House, Ball State's leading scorer on the night.  Hamilton and Perkins kept up their scoring in the final 20 minutes, but a few more Bulls found their way into the scoring column as well.

Buffalo opened the second half on an 11-4 run as a pair of free throws from Perkins put the Bulls ahead 55-42 just over four minutes into the half.  The Cardinals never pulled closer than 11 for the rest of the night.  Leading 69-55 with 10:39 left, UB went on a 12-2 run as a free throw from Hamilton gave the Bulls an 81-57 advantage. Five different players scored during the run, putting the game out of reach with just under six minutes left.

The Cardinals pulled within 21 with 5:07 left when the Bulls went on one more 13-2 run as a three-pointer from James Jones gave Buffalo its largest lead of the night at 94-62.  The Bulls went on to win 96-69.

Hamilton scored 25 points to lead all scorers, while adding eight assists and four rebounds.  Perkins added 21 points and six rebounds off the bench.

CJ Massinburg had a big second half, scoring eight of his 11 points over the final 20 minutes.  He added six rebounds and three assists.  Senior Willie Conner had 10 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.

David Kadiri and Ikenna Smart each finished with eight points.  10 different players found the scoring column and eight different players recorded assists as the Bulls had 20 assists on the night.

Buffalo shot 50.0% from the floor and 45.8% from three-point range as they went 11-of-24.  The Bulls were also much better from the free throw line, going 19-of-22 from the charity stripe.

Ball State had its four-game winning streak snapped as the Bulls held the Cardinals to just 26.7% from three.  House led the way with 24 points, while Tayler Persons added 15 points.

The Bulls will return home on Tuesday night when they host Northern Illinois.  Tipoff is set for 7:00 pm.