Mulkey and Watt Spark Bulls to Win Over Kent State
BUFFALO, NY – Byron Mulkey scored 21 of his career-high 27 points in the first half to jumpstart the Bulls to a 79-54 win over Kent State in men's basketball action at Alumni Arena on Wednesday night.
While Mulkey's offensive performance opened many eyes in Alumni Arena, it was the UB defense that really helped the Bulls defeat the Golden Flashes. Buffalo held Kent State to a season-low 33 percent shooting from the field, forced 19 turnovers and had 10 blocked shots. Mitchell Watt rejected a career-high eight shots – the third highest total for a single game in school history.
A pair of free throws by Titus Robinson gave the Bulls a 4-3 lead and they never looked back. With the Bulls leading, 22-18, Mulkey caught fire. Over the final six minutes of the half, the senior point guard scored 16 of the Bulls' final 21 points of the half, including four three-pointers. UB led Kent State, 43-31, at the break.
Buffalo (10-6, 2-2 MAC) didn't let off the gas in the second half as it opened with a 15-7 scoring run and a three-pointer by Zach Filzen gave the Bulls a 20-point advantage with 15:38 remaining. Mulkey found McCrea under the basket for a dunk that put the Bulls up 70-43 – their largest lead of the night.
Watt finished with 13 points and led a Bulls frontcourt that combined to score 40 points. McCrea and Jawaan Alston added nine points apiece and Robinson chipped in with seven.
Kent State (11-7, 2-2 MAC) entered the game as one of the top rebounding teams in the Mid-American Conference. But Buffalo controlled the glass, outrebounding the Flashes, 39-26. Dave Barnett tied a career-high with seven boards.
"I thought our guys locked in tonight, defensively. It was good to see our energy back," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "It was great to see our students come out and really help us and boost us. That was one of the liveliest student sections we've had. It was good to bounce off that energy and plug into it. "
Buffalo has won two straight and will next play at Ohio on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm. A game that will be televised on ESPNU.