Balanced Effort Leads Bulls To First Ever Postseason Road Win
HAMDEN, CT – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team got scoring from seven different players as it defeated Quinnipiac, 75-68, in the first round of the Collegeinsider.com Postseason Tournament. The win is UB's second ever postseason victory and its first on the road.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well in the first half as the game was tied on 11 different occasions in the opening 20 minutes with neither team ever leading by more than three points until the halftime buzzer. The game was tied at 29-29 with 1:16 left when junior Mitchell Watt broke the tie with two free throws. After a missed layup by the Bobcats, UB was able to further its lead as freshman Jarod Oldham beat the halftime buzzer, giving the Bulls a 33-29 lead at the break.
The Bulls began the second half on a 17-9 run over the first seven minutes, which was capped off by what possibly may be the play of the game. The Bobcats had a 4-on-1 break on the offensive end when senior Byron Mulkey was able to steal the ball and begin a break for the Bulls. He found a wide open Zach Filzen on the wing for a three pointer, which gave the Bulls their largest lead of the game.
The Bobcats were able to get it back within five at 56-51, but Mulkey answered with a three to put UB back up by eight. UB regained a 12-point lead at 65-53 on a jumper by Filzen with 5:17 left and Quinnipiac was unable to get any closer than seven the rest of the way.
"I thought we came out a little flat, but then our energy picked up and we beat a very good team tonight," said head coach Reggie Witherspoon. "We got contributions from everyone and that is what you need in these postseason games where your season is over if you lose."
Filzen led the way with 17 points, as he moved into sole possession of second place in MAC history with his 109 made three pointers on the season. Watt had 16 points and six rebounds, going 6-for-7 from the free throw line. Watt also added two blocks and three steals.
Dave Barnett had 15 points and seven rebounds, while Mulkey finished with five points and a team-high six assists. Oldham and senior Jawaan Alston each had eight points off the bench as Alston added eight rebounds in 18 minutes. Oldham pulled down five boards, a block and a steal. Javon McCrea finished with six points, three rebounds and two blocked shots.
The Bulls will now wait until all the first round games are complete to find out who their next opponent will be. Second round games will take place on March 18 or 19.