BUFFALO, NY - Fresh off its first sweep ever of the Mid-American Conference's West Division, the Buffalo men's basketball team will look to accomplish another first, aiming to take down the Kent State Golden Flashes Tuesday night on the road. The Bulls have never won at the M.A.C. Center, but are enjoying an eight-game win streak and are riding high off a thrilling win over Western Michigan.
Mitchell Watt had a dominating line of 16 points, eight rebounds and a season-high six blocks as UB held off Western Michigan last Saturday, 59-57, for its eighth-straight league win. One more consecutive league win would tie a program record. With the two teams ever so close in many of the major statistical categories, the Bulls will need to flex its muscle on the boards. Averaging the third-most rebounds per game in the nation (42 per game), the team has gone even above that in the past three games, averaging 47 against Toledo, Central Michigan and Western Michigan. In the Jan. 7 game between Buffalo and Kent State, the Bulls used a 42-30 advantage in rebounds to erase a 38-36 halftime deficit and come out with a 66-65 win at Alumni Arena.
It will take a total team effort to overcome a Kent State team that thrives at home. Kent State has not lost at home since falling to Cleveland State in November and is 37-5 at home dating back to the start of the 2009-10 season. In its last game out, Justin Greene had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead four total players in double figures against Ball State to lead a 76-55 rout. For the season, the team has thrived on an opportunistic defense (8.8 steals per game) that fuels a confidence-driven offense that has averaged 74.4 points per game in conference games.
Kent State leads the all-time series 25-8, but UB has won three of the past four regular-season games. Last season, Buffalo came tantalizingly close to snapping its losing streak at the M.A.C. Center, taking a 10-point lead into the half before the Flashes stormed back for a 72-69 win. Tip is set for 7 pm, and the game will be broadcasted on Sports Time Ohio, but fans can also tune in to 1230 AM WECK for Josh Whetzel and Jon Fuller's call of the game.