BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team defeated Miami (OH), 59-49, in its final regular season game at Alumni Arena on Wednesday night. Mitchell Watt paced the Bulls with 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Miami made nine of its first 13 shots and jumped out to a 20-9 lead. However, UB head coach Reggie Witherspoon had his team switch to a seldom-used zone defense and it seemed to confuse the RedHawks. The Bulls responded with a 13-2 scoring run and following a Javon McCrea layup and free throw, the Bulls found themselves down only 22-21.
Trailing 27-24, Watt scored six of the Bulls' next seven points and his put-back layup put the Bulls ahead, 31-27. Auraum Nuiriankh connected on a three-pointer late in the first half to give the Bulls a 37-32 lead at the break.
The Bulls cranked up the defensive pressure in the second half, holding the RedHawks to just 17 points on 7-of-28 shooting. Leading 48-47 with 9:51 remaining, the Bulls held Miami to just two points for the remainder of the game.
With neither team shooting well, the difference in the game was rebounding as the Bulls held a 48-33 edge. Buffalo grabbed a season-high 19 offensive boards and scored 16 second chance points. Dave Barnett had a career-high nine rebounds for the Bulls.
Zach Filzen scored 12 points and knocked down a pair of three-pointers. He moved into fifth place in MAC history for three-pointers in a season with 99.
"It wasn't a picturesque shooting performance by either team," Witherspoon said. "But I did think it was a hard-fought game that we were fortunate enough to get through and be successful. We haven't shot the ball that poorly all year, but I thought we had really good energy and really good perseverance."
Buffalo closes out the regular season at Bowling Green on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm.