Bulls Get Defensive in Win Over Eastern Michigan
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team won its third straight game by defeating Eastern Michigan, 65-47, at Alumni Arena on Tuesday night. The 47 points scored by the Eagles were a season low by a UB opponent.
Buffalo (11-6, 4-2 MAC) had three players score in double-figures led by Javon McCrea's game-high 17 points. Zach Filzen added 16 points, including five three-pointers. Mitchell Watt had 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Eastern Michigan (9-11, 4-2 MAC), one of the Mid-American Conference's best defensive teams, played a tough zone defense the entire game. The Bulls countered with making nine three-pointers. Along with Filzen's five, Auraum Nuiriankh and Tony Watson each added a pair of triples.
Buffalo jumped out to a 15-5 lead and looked like it was going to win running away. However, the Eagles clamped down defensively and held the Bulls to just two points over the final 7:11 of the first half. The Bulls held a slim, 24-23 lead at the break.
UB made adjustments in the second half and opened the stanza on a 12-4 scoring run to take a 36-27 lead. Nuiriankh sparked the run with back-to-back three-pointers. Filzen hit consecutive three-pointers himself to extend a 38-30 advantage to 44-30 with 11:09 remaining.
Buffalo's lead got as big as 18 points and stayed in double-digits the remainder of the game.
Although he only scored two points, Jarod Oldham had arguably one of the best all-around games of his career. He had 10 assists and added four rebounds. The Bulls did a great job of moving the basketball as they had 20 assists on 22 field goals.
"That's the biggest team we've played and the tempo of the game was a challenge to us," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "As the game went on we got better at handling it, but initially the tempo of the game was difficult. There was no rhythm to it for us. I think our guys in the second half were much better flowing against their zone. The first half we were a little bit mechanical."
The Bulls held Eastern Michigan to just 34 shooting from the field. UB also struggled offensively in the first half, but shot 67 percent from the floor in the second half to pull away for the victory.
The Bulls will next hit the road and play at Northern Illinois on Saturday.