Bulls Ring in New Year with 78-66 Win at Cornell
ITHACA, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team closed out non-conference play with an impressive 78-66 win over Cornell at Newman Arena on Monday night. The Bulls shot 53 percent from the field to defeat the three-time defending Ivy League champ and improve to 8-4 on the season.
The Bulls did most of their damage inside of the arc, making 19 of their 25 two-point shots (76 percent).
Early on, the Cornell defense keyed on Zach Filzen and held the Bulls' leading scorer to four first-half points. Sophomore Tony Watson proved to be a spark off the bench with nine first-half points on three consecutive three-pointers that turned a tie game into 26-17 Buffalo advantage. Watson finished with a career-high 11 points and the Bulls held a 36-27 lead at the break.
The Big Red opened the second half on a 17-8 scoring run and a Drew Ferry three-pointer tied the game at 44 with 11:27remaining. With the game tied at 46, Byron Mulkey hit a jumper to put the Bulls ahead for good.
Filzen heated up in the second half and scored 13 second-half points to help the Bulls hold off Cornell. With the Bulls leading, 54-52, Filzen scored five straight points to extend the UB lead to seven. A Javon McCrea layup pushed the Buffalo lead to 62-53 with 5:09 left.
The Bulls made 10 straight free throws down the stretch to hold off the Big Red.
Filzen led the Bulls with 17 points. Backcourt mate Mulkey finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Jawaan Alston had a nice game with 10 points, three rebounds and four assists. McCrea had seven points, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 14 minutes.
Buffalo returns home to host Bowling Green in the Mid-American Conference opener on Saturday night following the women's game against Kent State which starts at 5:00 pm.