The University at Buffalo weathered a poor first half but rallied to defeat Bowling Green, 88-74, Saturday.
The win was critical for UB in the Mid-American Conference race. UB improved to 15-12 overall and 8-6 in the MAC. Bowling Green fell to 13-14 and 4-10. UB stands fifth in the MAC.
Junior forward Blake Hamilton keyed the UB win, scoring 24 points and getting five rebounds and three steals.
Sophomore guard Lamonte Bearden returned to the lineup after missing the last three games due to a team suspension. Bearden had a strong game, scoring 16 points and handing out six assists. The Bulls also got 14 points from junior guard Willie Conner.
UB’s defense wasn’t good enough the first 20 minutes. The Bulls allowed Bowling Green to make 54.5 percent of its shots. In one stretch, the Falcons hit 12 of 15 shots to turn a 16-8 deficit into a 37-29 lead. The Falcons led at the half, 42-38.
In the house: Attendance was about 3,000.
Up next: UB plays Kent State at Alumni Arena on Tuesday. It’s a big game. Kent State is 9-5. UB beat Kent State in the first meeting.