KALAMAZOO, MI – The #16 ranked Buffalo Bulls had to overcome an early 11-point deficit on the road Tuesday night as the Bulls remained undefeated in Mid-American Conference play with an 88-79 win over Western Michigan. Senior Jeremy Harris led the Bulls with 22 points and 11 rebounds as UB improved to 16-1 on the season and 4-0 in league play.
Both teams started off quick, but then Western Michigan went on a run, taking a 33-22 lead with 6:47 left in the first half. UB responded with seven straight though as a three pointer from Harris pulled UB back within 33-29. In all, it was a 19-4 run by the Bulls as another triple from Harris gave the Bulls a 41-37 lead. UB took a four-point lead into the break as senior CJ Massinburg beat the buzzer with a dunk, giving Buffalo the 43-39 halftime lead.
UB opened up an eight point lead early in the second half, but Western Michigan came back, tying the score up at 62-62 with 11:47 left. The Bulls responded with a three-point play from senior Dontay Caruthers and with UB leading 69-68, the Bulls hit two huge shots, the first a three from senior Nick Perkins and the second a triple by freshman Ronaldo Segu, giving Buffalo the 75-68 lead. Buffalo increased its lead to a game-high nine points with 7:26 remaining, but the Broncos wouldn't go away.
Western Michigan pulled back within two with 5:46 left, but the Bulls allowed just two points over the final 5:46, closing the game out on an 11-2 run.
"We clearly didn't play our best basketball tonight, but I thought we responded well to some adversity on the road and made big plays when we needed them," said head coach Nate Oats. "I thought both Jeenathan and Rondo gave us good minutes and we needed those contributions from everyone this evening."
Harris led all scorers with 22 points, while also pulling in 11 rebounds. Perkins had 14 points, while Massinburg finished with 13 and Caruthers had 11.
All nine players who saw action had at least three points, including freshman Jeenathan Williams, who had four points and a pair of offensive rebounds.
The Bulls were able to close the game out from the free throw line, where they went 17-of-20 for the game, including 13-of-15 in the second half.
Buffalo will return home on Friday night for their second of two meetings against Eastern Michigan. That game will tipoff at 7pm from Alumni Arena and will air nationally on ESPNU.