Javon McCrea made sure the University at Buffalo men’s basketball team did not falter against lowly Central Michigan Saturday night in their Mid-American Conference game in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
McCrea dominated the game with 25 points and a career-high 20 rebounds to lead the Bulls (13-7, 7-3 MAC) to a 79-70 victory over the Chippewas (8-14, 1-9 MAC). It was the 12th double-double of the season for the senior forward from Newark. Also, he moved within eight points of passing Jim Horne (1951-55) as the No. 2 career scorer in UB history. McCrea has 1,826 career points. Horne had 1,833 in his four seasons at a Bull.
McCrea became the first UB player to go for 20 points and 20 rebounds since Feb. 13, 2007 when Yassin Idbihi finished with 28 points and 20 rebounds in an overtime victory against Bowling Green. The 20 rebounds are the most for a UB player in the moderen era. McCrea went 12-of-22 from the floor and pulled down 15 defensive rebounds.
UB shot 51.8 percent for the game (29-56), including 7 of 18 from three-point range. Buffalo out-rebounded Central, 40-27.
Freshman Shannon Evans came off the bench and scored 19 points for UB.
McCrea and Evans accounted for 31 of UB’s 39 first-half points. The Bulls led 39-36 at the break. Central was still a threat, trailing only 42-39 early in the second half before the Bulls went on a 20-5 run.
Sophomore guard Chris Fowler, the No. 2 scorer in the MAC with a 17.9 average, led Central with 17 points. Austin Stewart, another soph, had 15. UB is now 2-3 on the road in conference play. UB went 6-2 in its games against MAC West Division teams with eightleft against the East.
Earlier at the Reilly Center, the St. Bonaventure women (19-6, 8-2 Atlantic 10) led wire-to-wire and cruised to an 88-66 victory over UMass (3-21, 0-10 A-10).
Nyla Rueter registered a career-high with 27 points and Hannah Little posted her second double-double in as many games with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Four Bonnies scored 15 points or more. Chelsea Bowker had 18 points and Katie Healy (Lancaster) had 15.
Bona led 44-35 at halftime after shooting 57.1 percent (16 of 28).
In today’s Big 4 action, Niagara’s men’s team, which came within a point of pulling off the biggest upset of the season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in Friday’s 90-89 loss to Iona, will take a shot at another MAAC power. Manhattan, in the Gallagher Center (Radio 550, 2 p.m.).
The Jaspers (16-6, 9-4) are coming off Friday’s 84-73 win at Canisius.
Three Big 4 women’s teams will be on the road today. The University at Buffalo has won five of six since losing at home to Central Michigan, 82-68, on Jan. 12. Central, meanwhile, has kept on winning and stands at 10-0 in the Mid-American Conference going into today’s game against UB in Mount Pleasant, Mich. (Radio 1270, 2 p.m.).
Buoyed by Friday’s 62-53 win over Niagara, Canisius (9-13, 5-8 MAAC) will face Quinnipiac (14-9, 9-4 MAAC) at 1 p.m. in Hamden, Conn. The Bobcats defeated the Griffs, 65-55, Dec. 21.
Niagara (7-15, 5-8 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) travels to Lawrenceville, N.J. to take on Rider (11-11, 7-6 MAAC) for the first time this season. The player to watch for the Broncs is forward MyNeshia McKenzie, who is averaging 20 points and 11.3 rebounds a game.