Bulls Extend Winning Streak to Four with Win at Northern Illinois
DeKALB, IL – The University at Buffalo men's basketball hit a season-high 11 three-pointers en route to a 74-59 win at Northern Illinois on Saturday afternoon. It was the fourth straight win for a UB squad that improves to 12-6 overall and 5-2 in the Mid-American Conference.
The Bulls got contributions from a number of different Bulls as 10 different players scored for UB. Javon McCrea scored 14 points and added 12 rebounds in only 19 minutes of action for his fifth double-double of the season. The sophomore forward was a beast on the boards in the second half, pulling down 11 rebounds in only nine minutes.
Zach Filzen had 12 points, all on three-pointers. His fourth triple gave him 1,000 points for his career, counting his freshman season at Northern Arizona. He had four of the Bulls' 11 three-pointers in the game. Tony Watson chipped in with three three-pointers to finish with nine points. Dave Barnett also knocked down a pair of treys for six points and added six rebounds.
Both teams were a little sluggish out of the gate and a free throw by Mitchell Watt gave the Bulls their first lead of the game, 13-12, with 9:23 left in the half. It was a lead the Bulls would never relinquish. Leading 18-15, UB connected on three-pointers on five of its next six possessions, capped by an Auraum Nuiriankh triple that put the Bulls ahead, 33-21.
Buffalo led 37-28 at the break.
Northern Illinois (2-17, 1-6 MAC) would get no closer than the nine-point halftime advantage. The Bulls held the Huskies to just three field goals over the first 15 minutes of the second half. Xavier Ford hit a pair of free throws to give the Bulls their largest lead of the game, 72-47, with 2:51 remaining.
"I thought our guys rebounded the ball better in the second half," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "I thought we got anxious early and whenever that happened they nailed us. We settled down in the second half. All in all I think it was a good road win for us."
Watt finished with 10 points and had four of the Bulls' seven blocked shots. Nuiriankh finished with seven points and Jarod Oldham had five points for Buffalo.
The Bulls held the Huskies to 28.1 shooting from the field, matching a season-low by a UB opponent. Buffalo also held Dayton to 28.1 percent shooting from the field.
Buffalo will return home to face Ball State on Wednesday night at Alumni Arena.