OXFORD, OH – The 21st ranked University at Buffalo men's basketball team opened Friday night on an 18-0 run and the Bulls led wire-to-wire in a 77-69 victory at Miami (OH). The win improves Buffalo to 26-3 on the year and 14-2 in MAC play. The victory clinched at least a share of the MAC's regular season title.
The Bulls hit seven of their first eight shots of the night as UB raced out to an 18-0 lead just four minutes into the contest. Five different Bulls scored during the run, including a pair of triples from sophomore Jayvon Graves.
The Bulls continued to hold an 18-point advantage on two more occasions during the opening half as a layup from Graves with 5:36 remaining gave Buffalo a 35-17 lead. However, Miami answered by going on a 14-0 run as the RedHawks pulled back within four, which was the margin at the break as the Bulls led 37-33.
Buffalo turned the ball over just three times in the second half as Miami opened the final 20 minutes strong, pulling within two at 41-39 two minutes in. The Bulls led by just three at 44-41 when UB went on an 8-0 run, which was capped off on a transition three from senior CJ Massinburg to extend the advantage to 52-41 with 13:54 left.
The Bulls regained a 15-point lead on a layup from Massinburg to put Buffalo ahead 67-52 with 8:38 left, but Miami again made a run. An 11-0 Miami run cut the deficit to four before Graves answered with a triple in the corner with 3:40 left. The RedHawks would cut the Buffalo lead to as little as three with 2:31 remaining, but senior Dontay Caruthers answered with a three-point play. Senior Nick Perkins recorded the final dagger, a three pointer with 36 seconds left to increase the Buffalo lead to seven. UB would go on to win by eight following the 20th point of the night from Massinburg.
"I thought we struggled on offense a little bit tonight," said head coach Nate Oats. "Those first four minutes were some of the best basketball we've played all year, but credit Miami, they played us tough and turned us over a little bit. I also have to credit our guys though, for us to shoot as poorly as we did and find a way to win on the road says a lot about this group."
Massinburg had his second straight double-double as he finished with a game-high 20 points, while adding 10 rebounds and four assists.
Perkins added 13 points and five rebounds, while Graves had 13 points and five boards, including three offensive rebounds. Junior Davonta Jordan added 12 points, five rebounds, six assists, and two steals.
Senior Jeremy Harris finished with eight points, four boards, four assists, and three steals, while senior Montell McRae had five points. Despite playing just under 16 minutes, McRae led all players with a +20 plus/minus rating.
The Bulls held a 44-38 advantage on the glass and they forced Miami into 14 turnovers, while the RedHawks had just six assists on the night.
Miami also shot just 1-of-11 from three point range in the second half, going 4-of-20 from long range during the game.
The Bulls will play their final regular season road game on Tuesday night when UB heads to Ohio. Tip off is at 7pm on ESPN+. UB can clinch the number one seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament with a win in Athens.