Strong Defensive Effort Leads Bulls To 65-45 Win Over Northern Illinois

Strong Defensive Effort Leads Bulls To 65-45 Win Over Northern Illinois

BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team won their third straight game on Tuesday night as the Bulls took down Northern Illinois, 65-45.  The win was UB's 12th straight against the Huskies.  With the victory, the Bulls have evened their record to 12-12 and are 6-5 in conference play.

The Bulls opened the game on a 14-4 run over the first 12 minutes of action, but the Huskies weathered the early storm and went on to take a 23-20 lead late in the first half with 1:53 left.  Northern Illinois had its largest lead at 25-21 with 1:16 remaining, but a pair of free throws from Blake Hamilton and a layup by Willie Conner had the game tied at the break, 25-25.

Buffalo dominated the second half as the Bulls outscored NIU 40-20 over the final 20 minutes of action.  The UB defense forced NIU to go just 7-of-29 from the floor and 0-of-9 from three in the second half.  The Bulls went on a 14-2 run over the first seven minutes of the half as a pair of free throws from redshirt sophomore Dontay Caruthers gave the Bulls a 39-27 lead.

The Huskies pulled within eight at 50-42 with 6:07 left, but then the UB defense allowed just three points the rest of the night as the Bulls ended the evening on a 15-3 run.  The run began on a thunderous dunk from sophomore Nick Perkins off a feed from his classmate CJ Massinburg.  Five different players recorded points during the game-clinching run.

Massinburg led the Bulls with 17 points, including 15 of those coming in the second half.  He added three assists and a pair of rebounds.  Perkins had his fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Conner and fellow senior David Kadiri each finished with eight points and Kadiri also had seven rebounds.  Hamilton, the reigning MAC East Player of the Week, finished with just five points, but had eight rebounds and four assists.

Caruthers finished with seven points, three rebounds, two assists, a block and two steals, while also drawing two more charges.  Freshman Davonta Jordan had four assists and two points in 16 minutes.

In conference games only, NIU entered tonight's action leading the league in rebounding margin, but the Bulls had the advantage on the glass, outrebounding the Huskies 45-31.

NIU fell to 14-10 on the season and 6-5 in league play.  The Huskies were led by 12 points and 10 rebounds from Aaric Armstead.

The Bulls will take their three-game winning streak on the road as they begin a two-game road trip on Saturday afternoon at Bowling Green.  Tipoff is set for Noon and the game will air on Spectrum Sports, BCSN and on ESPN3.