BUFFALO, NY - A new year brings a new season and a new video board for the Buffalo men's basketball team, who opens the Mid-American Conference season Saturday evening against East Division rival Kent State. The Bulls (7-4) are coming off a win Wednesday against Buffalo State while the Golden Flashes wrapped up its non-conference slate with a 10-3 record.
On Wednesday, the Bulls put up a 111-59 win over the cross-town Bengals, with six players reaching double figures in the same game for the first time since Jan. 25, 2004 against Northern Illinois. The team also scored in the triple digits in regulation for the first time since 2001.
Mitchell Watt led all scorers with a career-high 22 points in just 23 minutes on the floor. The Bulls abused Buffalo State on the boards, earning a 68-32 advantage. Now at the end of its non-conference season, the Bulls finished its first 11 games with three players averaging over 14 points per game, and the team as a whole averaging a MAC-best 78.8 points per game.
The Flashes are also coming off a blowout win to earn its tenth win of the season, downing Shawnee State 90-65. The team's early-season success has been thanks to a tough defense that has only allowed 60.9 points per game while forcing almost 18 turnovers per game. Kent State has enjoyed a veteran-laden team, with senior standouts Justin Greene, Michael Porrini, Carlton Guyton and Justin Manns leading a deep team. First year coach Rob Senderoff has used the team's depth to put together a flexible starting lineup that has seven players with at least three starts and nine players seeing an average of 12 minutes per game. Junior guard Randal Holt leads the team with 11.8 points per game, and forward Justin Greene posts averages of 11.3 points and 6.7 rebounds.
Saturday will also mark the exciting debut of the new video scoreboard that will hang over center court at Alumni Arena, joining the sideline boards that have been in use since the home opener. The new four-sided, center-hung LED display will provide live video, instant replays, and animations. The displays measure eight feet high and 14 feet wide and will be accompanied by an LED ring underneath which measures 3 feet high and 52 feet in diameter.
Tip off is set for 7 pm, and tickets are still available. Time Warner Cable SportsNet will be carrying the television broadcast, and fans can also tune into 1230 AM WECK, with Josh Whetzel and Pete Lonergan on the call.