The University at Buffalo men’s team continues to play good basketball as the end of the regular season approaches.
The Bulls defeated Central Michigan, 99-93, in a wild contest in Michigan on Tuesday night. It was UB’s fifth straight win, and improved their overall record to 14-12. More importantly, the Bulls moved to 8-5 in the tightly bunched Mid-American Conference, and picked up a game on the Chippewas. They fell to 16-10, 6-7 MAC.
The Bulls received a huge lift off the bench from Willie Conner, who scored 22 points. CJ Massinburg added 20 points, while Blake Hamilton and David Kadiri had 12 points each.
Marcus Keene had 27 points for Central Michigan. He became the all-time single season scoring leader for the Chippewas. Keene had to take a back seat to Braylon Rayson in scoring on this particular night. Rayson finished with 28 points.
The first few minutes of the game were quite even, but UB warmed up with a 14-2 stretch to take a 28-17 lead. The Bulls went on to possess a 42-36 lead at the half. The second half’s tempo was even faster. Both sides finished with 57 points.
Buffalo maintained a lead throughout much of the second half, but it had disappeared with about 80 seconds left to play. The Chippewas tied the game on a four-point play (three-pointer plus a foul) by Rayson at 93-93.
But Massinberg responded with a jumper to give UB the lead for good with 42 seconds left. He followed with two huge free throws with 21 seconds left to play, and added a little more insurance with two more from the charity stripe with seven seconds left.
The Bulls come back home on Saturday afternoon to play Miami. Four of their last five games will be played at home.
• The scoreboard figures to be working overtime tonight when St. Bonaventure hosts La Salle at the Reilly Center (7 p.m., TWCSN, Radio 95.7 FM). The Bonnies and the Explorers are the two top-scoring teams in the Atlantic 10, and they have four of the top scorers in the league. Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley continue to pile up the points for Bona, and the Bonnies will try to stop B.J. Johnson and Jordan Price. The two teams are tied for fifth in the Atlantic 10 with 7-5 records.
• The University at Buffalo women have a road trip to Eastern Michigan (7 p.m., Radio 1520 AM). The Bulls have won three of their last four games in Ypsilanti, and another win would be welcome after they dropped their last start. Northern Illinois outscored UB on Saturday. Stephanie Reid is putting together a fine season at point guard for the Bulls. She is averaging 7.3 assists per game, which ranks seventh in the nation and second in the Mid-American Conference. The Bulls are 16-7, 6-6 in the MAC.
• The St. Bonaventure women have been streaky as of late. They lost five in a row around the start of the calendar year, and followed that with three straight wins. But now Bona has lost four straight entering today’s game at George Washington. The Bonnies (9-16, 4-9 A-10) may not find George Washington is the best foe for a reversal of fortunes. The Colonials are 17-8 overall, 10-3 in the Atlantic 10. GW has beaten Bona 17 of 18 times on its home court. The Colonials are a game behind Dayton in the conference race.