Balanced Bulls Tame Tigers
BUFFALO, NY – Zach Filzen scored a career-high 23 points and was one of five players to score in double-figures as Buffalo downed Towson, 87-76, at Alumni Arena on Saturday night.
Filzen shot 8-of-12 from the field, including 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. The junior guard came out of the gate firing. He made his first four three-pointers and had 14 first-half points on 5-of-6 shooting. His fourth three-pointer gave the Bulls a 35-25 lead with 7:39 left in the first half.
Towson (1-2) cut the lead to 41-38, with 1:26 remaining in the half. However, the Bulls closed the half on a 10-0 scoring run, capped by a three-pointer by Dave Barnett at the buzzer to put UB ahead, 51-38.
Slowly, Towson chipped away at the lead and a three-pointer by Rashawn Polk reduced the Buffalo advantage to 72-68 with 3:50 left. After Byron Mulkey hit a pair of free throws to extend the UB lead to six, Mitchell Watt hit the first of two free throws to give the Bulls a seven-point lead. Watt missed the second free throw, but Javon McCrea grabbed the offensive board, scored and was fouled. He missed the free throw. But the play put the Bulls ahead, 77-68, and took the wind out of the Tigers' sails.
It was another big night for McCrea as the freshman forward had career highs of 14 points and 12 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Watt finished with a season-high 16 points and added seven rebounds.
Barnett and Mulkey also reached double-figures with 14 points apiece. Mulkey had four of the Bulls' 15 steals in the game. Buffalo scored 23 points off of 18 Towson turnovers.
"I thought our guys did a much better job handling their adrenalin - from the standpoint of turnovers and getting the ball inside and with free throws," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "We still have a way to go, but overall it was pretty good night."
Buffalo will next play at Canisius on Tuesday night.