BUFFALO, NY - Sean Smiley was a late addition to the starting lineup after an injury sidelined Rodney Pierce. The senior guard made the most of his first start of the season by scoring 23 points in a 93-65 win over Buffalo State at Alumni Arena on Saturday afternoon. Smiley was one of four UB players to score in double-figures.
Buffalo jumped out to a 10-3 lead and never looked back. The Bulls led by as many of 32 points on the afternoon.
The blowout win allowed head coach Reggie Witherspoon to give every player on the team significant playing time. The Bulls had 12 players play double-digit minutes.
Calvin Betts had a solid all-around performance for UB. In only 21 minutes, Betts had 14 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and three steals. It was his 11th career double-double.
Zach Filzen added a career-high 13 points, including three three-pointers. He and Smiley combined to make seven of the Bulls' 10 three-pointers on the afternoon.
Freshmen Mike Clifford and Tony Watson II saw the most extensive action of their young careers. Clifford had 14 points on six-of-eight shooting, six rebounds and two blocked shots in 13 minutes. Watson had three points, three rebounds and four assists in 16 minutes.
Dave Barnett played a career-high 19 miuntes and had six points, four rebounds and three assists.
But is was Smiley's day. His 23 points were just three shy of his career high and he played only 21 minutes. Smiley has now scored in double-figures in three of the last four games.
Defensively, the Bulls held the Bengals to 31 percent shooting
from the field and forced 23 turnovers. Mitchell Watt had three of
the Bulls' seven blocked shots and two of the team's 12 steals.
"None of these games do anyone any good if we aren't learning from them," Witherspoon said. "Our hope is that we have enough right now where we have learned and there is enough that we can learn when get back to practice on Monday."
The Bulls have now won two straight games and three of their last four.
Buffalo will next play at Wisconsin-Green Bay on December 22.