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No. 19 Buffalo beats Bowling Green in regular-season finale

Buffalo celebrated its five seniors in postagem ceremony

March 08, 2019 - 10:16 pm

AMHERST, N.Y. (WBEN/AP) — Nick Perkins scored 22 points and No. 19 Buffalo beat Bowling Green 84-73 on Friday night in its regular-season finale for its 26th consecutive home victory.

CJ Massinburg scored 15 points, and Jeremy Harris had 10 of his 14 points in the second half to help the Bulls (28-3, 16-2 Mid-American Conference) win their ninth straight overall following a loss at Bowling Green on Feb. 1.

Buffalo matched No. 5 Tennessee for the nation's longest active home streak. Buffalo's run dates to a 72-63 loss to St. Bonaventure on Dec. 2, 2017.

On a day Buffalo celebrated its five seniors, the Bulls broke the school records set last season for victories and conference victories.

Justin Turner scored 17 for Bowling Green (20-11, 12-6), which lost its eighth straight game at Buffalo in a drought dating to Jan. 8, 2011. Assured of finishing second in the East Division and advancing to the quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament next week, the Falcons have lost four of five.

Buffalo, which led by 19 in the first half, allowed the Falcons to go on a 13-2 run and close the deficit to 55-54 on Antwon Lillard's layup with 12:06 remaining.

Perkins scored seven points and Harris scored four during a 14-5 run that put Buffalo back in control. Buffalo's seniors then received a standing ovation when they left the court for the last time with 25 seconds remaining.

The Bulls became the first MAC team to win 28 games since Ohio went 29-8 in 2011-12. And their 16 conference wins are the most since Kent State went 17-1 in 2001-02.

Coach Nate Oats started his five seniors in honor of their final home game, and they delivered.

Buffalo hit its first four baskets and forced three turnovers on Bowling Green's first three possessions in building an 8-0 lead. And the Bulls were up 14-5 when Montell McRae completed a three-point play 4:20 in when Buffalo had its first substitution.

Bowling Green committed 10 turnovers, and started cold from the floor in hitting just six of its first 17 attempts, including going one of eight in 3-point attempts.

SENIOR HONORS

The Bulls held a postgame ceremony honoring their five seniors. Massinburg and Perkins have been with the school for all four seasons. Guard Dontay Caruthers has spent the past three years at Buffalo, while wingmen Harris and Montell McRae joined the Bulls two years ago as junior college transfers.

The seniors were introduced with their family members.

RETIRING YOUNG

The Bulls honored former standout Rasaun Young by hanging his jersey on a wall of Alumni Arena. Young was Buffalo's career leading scorer with 1,908 from 1993-98. He was passed by Javon McCrea (2,004 points) in 2014, and ended the day third on the scoring list. Massinburg moved two ahead of Young.

BIG PICTURE

Bowling Green: A young team is showing signs of struggling down the stretch in dropping to 5-5 since beating Buffalo at home. Most concerning is Frye's struggles. He finished 3 of 9 for eight points and is 12 of 39 — and 7 of 28 on 3-point attempts — for 35 points in the past four games.

Buffalo: Enters MAC tournament as the No. 1 seed, and seeking a chance to improve its resume for the NCAA Tournament selection committee. Even with a loss, Bulls are projected to have locked up an at-large berth, which would be the first for a MAC since Miami (Ohio) in 1999.

UP NEXT

MAC quarterfinals in Cleveland on March 14

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