Feb 19, 2018
Buffalo (20-7, 12-2 MAC) vs. Miami (OH) (13-14, 6-8 MAC)
February 20, 2018
Alumni Arena - 7:00 pm
Bulls on the Air
Radio - ESPN 1520-AM WWKB/TuneIn App
Television - ESPN3/WatchESPN App
• Having clinched its second outright MAC East Title on Friday night, the Bulls will return to the road Tuesday evening to face Miami (OH). UB is still trying to chase down the MAC Regular Season title and the #1 overall seed. Only Buffalo, Toledo, and Ball State are still mathematically alive for that spot.
• The Bulls secured their 20th win of the season for seventh time in school history and the third time in the last five seasons. This year, UB won its 20th game in 27 chances, the fastest to 20 victories in school history. Buffalo is one of just 11 schools nationally to have their men's and women's teams each with 20 or more wins.
• Miami leads the all-time series 24-18 and won last year's meeting between these two schools at Millet Hall. Buffalo won the earlier meeting this year at Alumni Arena 82-66. Junior Jeremy Harris led UB with 23 points and 10 rebounds in the victory, one of four players in double figures.
• For the first time as a Division I program dating back to 1991-92, the Bulls have shot 50% or better in six straight games, including every game in February. UB is averaging 87.7 points during those six games, shooting 196-for-371 from the floor, good for 52.8% Junior Jeremy Harris is averaging just under 20 points per game during the stretch at 19.8.
• For the first time since joining the Mid-American Conference, the Bulls have beaten all 11 league schools in the same season, completing the sweep on Friday against Bowling Green. The Bulls went 7-1 against the MAC West this season and have gone 5-1 against East Division teams.
• The Bulls are looking for their 13th conference win of the season on Tuesday night, which would tie the school record for MAC wins, which was set in the 2013-14 season. Buffalo has now reached double figures in conference wins in six of the last seven seasons.
• Junior CJ Massinburg enters Tuesday's game with 1,216 points. He just five away from tying John Fitzpatrick (1979-83) fro 14th place and 19 away from 13th place, which currently belongs to Rodney Pierce (2007-10).
• Miami is looking to snap a four-game losing streak following a road overtime loss at Ohio, 92-87. The RedHawks are currently 13-14 on the season and 6-8 in MAC play as Miami is looking to secure a home game in the opening round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The RedHawks are 7-4 at home this year as they have played four of their last five games on the road.
• Freshman Nike Sibande is the lone Miami player scoring in double figures for Miami as he is averaging 14.4 points per game. Junior point guard Darrian Ringo leads the MAC and is amongst the national leaders in assists with 202 on the year. He is also second on the team in scoring at 9.5 points per game. Logan McLane leads Miami with 5.9 rebounds per contest.
• Three Miami players scored in double figures in the first meeting between the two teams, led by 16 points from freshman Nike Sibande. Darrien Ringo added 14 points and seven rebounds, while Jalen Adaway added 10 points.
• Jack Owens is in his first year as head coach at Miami as he is the 27th head coach in Miami basketball history. Owens spent the past nine seasons on staff at Purdue University, three as an assistant coach and the last six years as its associate head coach. Since his arrival, the Boilermakers have recorded 209 wins (23.2/year), including 27 during the 2016-17 season, helping Purdue win a Big Ten Regular Season Championship. Owens came to Purdue after a five-season stint as an assistant at Southern Illinois. Prior to joining SIU, Owens served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Eastern Illinois, during the 2002-03 season, and spent the 2001-02 campaign as an assistant at Barton County Community College.
Top Seed In Sight With Four Games To Go
Buffalo enters the final four regular season games with the best record in the league at 12-2 following Friday night's win over Bowling Green. With the win, the Bulls clinched the MAC East Division Championship and became the first MAC team to earn a bye to the MAC Tournament Quarterfinals in Cleveland. UB has now won two outright Division Titles in 2013-14 and 2017-18 and they tied for the Division Title in 2008-09 and 2014-15.
UB is still in a tight race for the number one seed in the conference tournament, which the Bulls are looking to accomplish for the first time ever. The #1 seed secures an automatic invite to the NIT as a postseason backup. The Bulls currently hold a one-game lead over Toledo, following their loss at Ball State on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals remain the only other team that has a mathematical chance at the #1 seed, but they are three games behind the Bulls and UB has tiebreakers with both Toledo and Ball State as the Bulls beat them in the first two games of the season.
Junior CJ Massinburg became a member of the 1,000-point club in the MAC opener against Toledo as he scored 27 points against the Rockets. Massinburg is the 20th player to score 1,000 points for the Bulls and he is the seventh fastest to do so, achieving it in his 73rd career game, which is quicker than previous MAC Players of the Year Turner Battle, Mitchell Watt, and all-time leading scorer, Javon McRea.
After scoring just eight points in the opener, Massinburg has scored at least 20 points 11 times. He scored 30 at Delaware, the second time in his career he has done that. Twice this year, Massinburg has been named the MAC East Player of the Week and he is currently second in the MAC in scoring at 18.7 points per game. Massinburg is also UB's leading rebounder on the season, as he is averaging 8.3 boards per contest, which is fourth in the league. He has a team-high seven double-doubles on the year, including recording a career-high 14 boards at Delaware. The seven double-doubles are tied for second most in the Mid-American Conference. He was most recently named to the watch list for the Lou Henson Award, which is awarded to the nation's top mid major player.
Following his 16-point game against Northern Illinois, Massinburg moved into 15th place on UB's all-time scoring list passing UB Hall of Famer, Harold Kuhn. Massinburg had the 11th 20-point game of his season against Western Michigan and he currently has 1,216 points. Massinburg stuffed the stat sheet against Kent State, getting close to his first career triple-double with eight points, nine rebounds, and a career-high seven assists. Massinburg had 24 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists in the win over Bowling Green.
Mr. 1000 (Part 2)
Junior Nick Perkins got off to a fast start to the 2017-18 season as the Ypsilanti, MI native had a career-high 26 points in the season-opening win over Canisius. The 26 points were the most by a UB player in a season opener since Nikolai Alexeev had 26 against Niagara on November 19, 1999.
Perkins became the latest member of the 1,000 point club as he scored 20 points at Ohio on Jan. 26 to became the 21st player in school history to accomplish the feat.
Perkins came off the bench for the first time this season against Syracuse and he ended up leading the Bulls in scoring with 18 points, while also pulling down seven rebounds, including six offensive ones. Perkins has had some of his best games against Power 5 competition. In addition to 18 against Syracuse on Dec. 19, Perkins had 20 points as a freshman against Miami (FL) in the NCAA Tournament, and last season he added 23 points at Pitt. He added 17 points against SEC foe Texas A&M. Perkins had his first double-double of the year with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Toledo. He recorded back-to-back double-doubles following his 15 points and 11 rebounds at Ball State. Perkins has now come off the bench in 11 straight games and he is averaging 19.3 points per game in those contests. Perkins was named the MAC East Player of the Week following back-to-back wins to open conference play where he averaged 19.5 point and 10.5 rebounds.
Perkins tied his career high with 26 points in the win over Northern Illinois and he added 18 points and nine rebounds against Western Michigan to earned MAC East Player of the Week honors for the second time this season. Perkins averaged 24.0 points in two games against NIU this season as he added 22 in DeKalb. He currently leads UB in scoring in MAC play at 18.3 per game, which is fourth in the league. Perkins has scored in double figures in 17 straight games, all coming off the bench, including 22 points against Bowling Green in the most recent outing.
Wild, Wild Wes
The Bulls got a huge boost to their lineup prior to the Syracuse game on Dec. 19 as senior Wes Clark was cleared to play by the NCAA, marking his first collegiate game since February 13, 2016 when he played for Missouri. Clark, who joined UB last January, has been practicing with Buffalo since then, but he was finally able to play in his first game at Syracuse.
Clark scored 15 points and had six assists in his UB debut, picking up the start and playing 34 minutes. Clark added 17 points and eight assists against Texas A&M. Clark scored 27 points in his Alumni Arena debut on Dec. 29, scoring 13 of those points in the overtime period. It was a new career high for Clark as he scored 26 against South Carolina, while playing for Missouri.
He played his high school basketball for Buffalo head coach Nate Oats at Romulus High School right outside of Detroit, MI.
Clark had 25 points and five assists in the win over Toledo. Clark played his first ever college game in his home state of Michigan on Friday night at Western Michigan and was impressive finishing with 17 points and a career-high nine assists. Clark had his second nine-assist game against the Broncos on Feb. 2, while adding 13 points. He is averaging 5.5 assists per game. Clark added 21 points against Northern Illinois and 19 more against Kent State. He now has 866 points in his career spanning Missouri and Buffalo.
One the most of anticipated newcomers is wearing #2 on the Buffalo team and that is junior college transfer Jeremy Harris, who came to UB from Gulf Coast College, where he was ranked as the second best junior college player in the nation by JUCORecruiting.com.
Harris had a pair of 17-point games during the Cayman Classic as he recorded double figures in scoring in all three games. He had17 points and six rebounds against nationally-ranked Cincinnati and added 17 points and four assists in the win over UAB. He had 11 points and five assists against South Dakota State. His best game so far came against Niagara as he finished with a career-high 23 points, going 5-of-8 from three-point range. He also added seven rebounds and six assists. Harris recorded his first career double-double against Central Penn and added 14 points and nine rebounds in the win over Robert Morris. Harris had a big afternoon against Ball State as he finished with 16 points in the win over the Cardinals. He followed that up by scoring a game-high 17 points in the win at Akron. Harris continued his tear through MAC play as he tied his career high with 23 points in the win over Miami, recording his second double-double as he had 10 rebounds.
Following the wins over Akron and Miami Harris was named the MAC East Player of the Week, the third straight week UB has done it with three different players. Harris tied for team-high honors with 20 points in the win at Western Michigan last Friday night, going 4-of-5 from behind the arc. Harris had one of his best all-around games on Tuesday against Eastern Michigan, finishing with 22 points and a career-best 14 rebounds, which was tied for the most by a UB play this year. He had another double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Ohio, his fourth of the year. Harris had 20 points against Kent State, the third time in a four-game stretch he had 20 or more points. He is averaging 17.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in conference games following his career high 24 points against Kent State on Feb. 13. He added 19 point against Bowling Green as he was named the MAC East Player of the Week for the third time this season. He is shooting 56.0% from the floor and 47.0% from three, hitting 39-of-83 from behind the arc. He is fifth in the MAC in scoring in league games and second in the league in three-point field goal percentage and three-pointers made per game.
Dialing From Long Distance
The Bulls had one of their best games from behind the arc in school history in the loss at nationally-ranked Texas A&M on Dec. 21. The Bulls hit 17 three-pointers in the game, second in school history, and the most since hitting 18 against Troy State on Feb. 22, 1996 when UB went 18-for-40 in the contest.
Buffalo shot 17-of-39 from behind the arc against the Aggies as four players hit at least three triples, led by a career-high six three pointers from CJ Massinburg. Senior Wes Clark and juniors Jeremy Harris and Montell McRae each hit three. McRae was a perfect 3-of-3. The 17 three's made by the Bulls were the most by a MAC school against a Division I opponent this year. The Bulls had 12 made three pointers in the win over Bowling Green, setting a new school record for triples made in a season with 275, besting the old mark set during the 2015-16 season.
It can be argued that sophomore Davonta Jordan is one of the most improved players in the nation from last season and that was capped off with his first career 20-point game at Delaware. Jordan averaged just 2.5 points per game last year, but this season he is averaging 7.4 points per game. Through the first 27 games, Jordan has 200 points, shattering the 76 he scored all of last year. He has 16 three-pointers, 14 more than last year. Jordan had 15 points in the win over Toledo, and he added eight points and four assists in the win over Akron. Jordan also leads the Bulls in assists with 114, which is fifth in the league. He is UB's active leader in career assists.
Leading The Charge
Head coach Nate Oats begins his third year on the Buffalo sidelines, having comprised a record of 37-30 during his first two years. He is the only coach in UB school history to record 20 wins in his first season as a head coach and his 37 wins in his first two years are the second most by a UB coach behind only Bobby Hurley, who had 42 wins over his first two years.
Oats surpassed his predecessor on Dec. 9 vs. Central Penn as he picked up his 43rd win in his 76th game as head coach. Oats recently moved past V. William Hughes (1978-82) for seventh place on the all-time wins list and he is the fourth fastest UB head coach to 50 wins and the quickest in UB's Modern Era. Oats is currently 57-37 as head coach for the Bulls.
The Bulls hit the magical 100-point number for the first time this season during their 106-87 victory at Niagara. The 106 points tied the school record for points scored in a road game, matching the total from March 2, 1974 at Rochester. It was only the fourth time ever that Buffalo had scored triple figures in a road game and it was the most points in a road game since a 100-92 win at Chicago State on November 21, 2001.
For the first time since the 1997-98 season, the Bulls hit 100 points in multiple games in the same season following their 104-94 win against Toledo in the MAC opener. The 104 points were the second most scored by UB in a MAC game and their most ever in regulation of a MAC contest. While the Bulls have already scored 100 or more twice against D-I schools, the rest of the league combined only has one 100-point performance against a D-I opponent.