Bulls Dominate Inside in Win Over Youngstown State
BUFFALO, NY – Javon McCrea and Mitchell Watt combined for 49 points and 23 rebounds in an 80-72 win over Youngstown State at Alumni Arena on Saturday night. McCrea tied career highs with 29 points and 13 rebounds. Watt finished with a career-best 20 points and added 10 boards.
Buffalo improved to 6-2 on the season by dominating the play inside. The Bulls outscored the Penguins, 42-18, in the paint and outrebounded Youngstown State, 45-34. McCrea seemingly scored at will, shooting 14-of-17 from the field.
"I think our guys did a really nice job of recognizing some openings against their zone and getting it inside against their man-to-man and attacking them," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said.
As dominant as the Bulls were on the inside, Youngstown State was equally lethal from long range. The Penguins made 14-of-35 three-point attempts. They made eight threes in the first half, including one in the closing seconds, to take a 39-38 lead at the break.
A Titus Robinson layup with 16:34 left gave the Bulls the lead for good, 46-45. However, UB's lead would grow no larger than 10 as Youngstown State's long-range shooting kept the Penguins in the game.
Leading, 62-61, Tony Watson knocked down a three-pointer to extend the Bulls' lead to four. It was a part of a 9-2 UB scoring run and a McCrea layup put the Bulls ahead, 69-61, with 5:10 remaining.
Another Watson three-pointer gave Buffalo a 72-64 lead with 3:21 left. On UB's next possession, Watt soared over everyone to dunk home a missed shot and put the Bulls ahead, 74-64, and seal the win for Buffalo.
Zach Filzen was guarded tightly all night, but still managed to score 11 points, including shooting 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Watson finished with eight points and Robinson had six.
Watt had four blocked shots to bring his career total to 150 – moving him into second place in school history.
Buffalo will have some time off for final exams before playing at Brigham Young on Dec. 20.