BYU Beats Buffalo in High-Scoring Affair, 93-78
PROVO, UT – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team shot 53 percent from the field, including 8-of-16 from beyond the arc, but it wasn't enough to stop a high-octane BYU offense. The Cougars defeated the Bulls, 93-78, in front of a crowd of 9,632 at the Marriott Center on Tuesday night.
Coming off a 10-day break for final exams, the Bulls showed little rust as they jumped out to an 11-3 lead and made their first nine shots from the field. UB led 22-15, before the Cougars mounted an 18-5 scoring run in just over four minutes to take 33-27 lead. The Bulls battled back to tie the contest at 37 with 4:10 left in the first half, before BYU closed the stanza on a 10-2 scoring run to lead 47-39 at the break.
Three-point shooting and transition points was the key to the Cougars' success in the first half as they knocked down seven three-pointers and outscored the Bulls 10-0 in fast break points.
BYU used the same formula in the second half to build its lead to 17 points with 15:41 remaining. Zach Filzen hit consecutive three-pointers and a Dave Barnett jumper followed by a Javon McCrea shot in the lane, cut the Cougars' advantage to 66-57 with 13:18 left.
A jump shot by Titus Robinson with 12:08 remaining made the score 68-59 in favor of the Cougars, but that would be as close as the Bulls would get as BYU responded with an 8-1 scoring run to extend its lead to 15 and put the game out of reach.
Mitchell Watt led four Bulls in double-figures with 18 points and added a team-high eight rebounds. McCrea finished with 16 points and Filzen added 14. Filzen was tightly-guarded all night, but the nation's leader in three-pointers still shot 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Barnett scored 10 points to round out UB's double-digit scorers.
Buffalo (6-3) was outrebounded, 33-28, for just the second time this season and BYU scored 17 second chance points. Points in transition were also a key to BYU's success as they held a 14-0 edge in fast break points.
"Our transition defense wasn't good enough and we only had four offensive rebounds," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "You got to credit BYU. They came in and blocked out hard and we didn't respond to it with enough effort. "
BYU (8-3) finished the night with 13 three-pointers and shot 53 percent from the field. The Cougars got career highs from both Brock Zylstra and Anson Winder, who finished with 26 and 20 points, respectively.
Jarod Oldham tied a career high with nine assists and added five points, four rebounds and three steals for the Bulls.
Buffalo will next play at Temple on Dec. 28.