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Big 4 Basketball: Buffalo tops Bowling Green, locks up fifth seed

Big 4 Basketball: Buffalo tops Bowling Green, locks up fifth seed

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The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team may have downed Bowling Green on Friday Night, 88-84, but it’ll finish as the fifth seed in the Mid-American Conference after Ball State defeated Northern Illinois.

The Bulls needed both a win and a Ball State loss to lock up the fourth seed in the conference. As the fifth seed, they’ll be in action Monday at Alumni Arena to open the playoffs against No. 12 Miami (Ohio).

The Bulls have already defeated the RedHawks twice this season, most recently on Tuesday, 75-69.

Buffalo played the spoiler on Friday as well. The win not only came on Bowling Green’s Senior Night, it kept the Falcons from splitting the conference title with Akron.

Jayvon Graves paced the Bulls with 25 points while Josh Mballa had a double-double off the bench, netting 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Only 28 of Bowling Green’s 84 points were scored in the paint. The Falcons did more damage from beyond the arc, sinking 12-of-29 3-pointers.

Justin Turner went a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line as he led Bowling Green with 23 points.

The MAC playoff seeds are as follows: 1-Akron, 2-Bowling Green, 3-Ball State, 4-Northern Illinois, 5-Buffalo, 6-Kent State, 7-Toledo, 8-Ohio, 9-Central Michigan, 10-Western Michigan, 11-Western Michigan, 12-Miami (Ohio).

The top four seeds earned a bye week for the first round of the playoffs. If Buffalo defeats Miami, it’ll play Northern Illinois.

St. Bona travels to St. Louis

A double-bye and a top-four seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament are on the line as St. Bonaventure travels to the Show Me State and an 8 p.m. men’s basketball game tonight against Saint Louis.

The matchup is a rematch of last year’s A-10 championship game, where the Bonnies were narrowly edged out by the Billikens, 55-53.

St. Bonaventure (19-11, 8-6 A-10)snapped a two-game skid with an 89-73 victory over St. Joseph’s on Wednesday.

St. Louis (22-8, 11-6 A-10) is on a four-game winning streak with triumphs over VCU, St. Joseph’s, Rhode Island and George Mason.

The two teams did not play each other this regular season.

St. Louis has dominated on the boards this season, averaging a conference-high 39.4 rebounds per game and a +6.4 rebound margin.

Individually, Jordan Goodwin and Javonte Perkins lead the Billikens with 15.5 and 15.0 points per game, respectively.

Osun Osunniyi has logged double-digit points in 10 games since he returned from injury for St. Bonaventure.

UB women host Senior Day

UB’s women’s basketball will wrap up its regular season at Alumni Arena by hosting Kent State for Senior Day at 2 p.m. (1520 AM). Both teams are on a four-game winning streak.

Coach Felicia Legette-Jack’s Bulls The Bulls (17-11, 8-9 MAC) could secure home court advantage as the MAC tournament opens on Monday with a win over the Golden Flashes.

Kent State (18-10, 11-6 MAC) has already locked up a first-round bye and at least a share of the conference championship.

Theresa Onwuka needs 15 points to become the 26th player in UB women’s basketball history to reach 1,000. She’s averaged 14.8 this season.

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