MOUNT PLEASANT, MI – Sophomore CJ Massinburg scored six points over the final 42 seconds on Tuesday night as he broke a 93-93 tie, leading the Bulls to a 99-93 win over Central Michigan. The win was UB's fifth straight as they swept the season series from the Chippewas.
The Bulls had six players score in double figures as they shot 44.0% from the floor and 48.3% from behind the arc. Central Michigan, which feature the highest scoring offense in the MAC, never led by more than single a point, which it did on three occasions in the first half. With CMU leading 15-14, the Bulls went on a 14-2 run as a three pointer from Willie Conner gave Buffalo a 28-17 lead. UB continued to lead by 11 in the first half at 40-29 when CMU ended the half on a 7-2 run to pull within 42-36 at the break.
The Chippewas cut their deficit to just two early in the second half when the Bulls went on a 21-11 run to go back up by double figures. A fast-break layup by Conner with 13:03 left gave the Bulls their largest lead at 68-53. The Bulls continued to lead to by 15 following a jumper from David Kadiri with 9:52 left, but CMU went on a 16-2 run to pull within one with 6:30 remaining.
UB regained a six-point lead with 1:47 left, but the Chippewas would score six straight late as a four-point play from Braylon Rayson tied the game up at 93-93 with 1:19 remaining. The Bulls then buckled down on defense, not allowing another CMU point for the remainder of the night. Massinburg hit a jumper with 42 seconds left to break the tie and then after a pair of CMU misses, Massinburg was fouled and went a perfect 4-of-4 from the line.
Conner led the way with 22 points, while Massinburg finished with 20 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
Three players had 12 points as senior Blake Hamilton finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Kadiri had 12 points and seven rebounds as he went 6-of-7 from the field, all in the second half. Dontay Caruthers also had 12 points.
Sophomore Nick Perkins finished with 11 points and five rebounds. In all, 10 different UB players found the scoring column.
The Bulls outrebounded CMU, 49-33, including 19 offensive boards for the Bulls. UB also finished with 17 assists, while turning it over just 10 times. The 99 points were the most scored by the Bulls in a MAC road game.
CMU fell to 16-10 and 6-7 in MAC play as the Chippewas were led by 28 points from Rayson and 27 points from Marcus Keene.
Buffalo will now return home for a season-long three-game homestand, which begins on Saturday when the Bulls host Miami (OH). The Bulls will be celebrating 100 season of men's basketball during the game beginning with an Alumni Game on Friday night. It is open to the public at 7pm.