Buffalo Has Win Streak Snapped at Kent State
KENT, OH – The Buffalo men's basketball team (16-7, 9-3 MAC) was unable to overcome a streaky-shooting Kent State team (19-6, 9-3 MAC) that hit 59 percent of its shots in the second half and seven three pointers. That helped the home team erase an eight-point halftime lead by Buffalo and pull out a 76-71 win on Tuesday night to snap the Bulls' eight-game winning streak. Zach Filzen led all scorers with 20 points and Mitchell Watt added 16 points and nine rebounds.
"We didn't have a good start to the second half and that hurt us," said head coach Reggie Witherspoon. "We fought our way back and got through it. But as usual, you can't come in here and be just a couple points better."
The first half lived up to all the hype, with the two teams displaying tenacious defense and offenses that blew up and down the court. Neither team led by more than nine in the first 20 minutes, and Buffalo's biggest lead of the half would come thanks to a Jarod Oldham jumper with four seconds left to put them up by eight, 39-31. After pouring in 14 first-half points against Kent State last season, Filzen was again the focal point of the offense, scoring 17 points on 6-9 from the floor and 4-7 from long distance. Buffalo held the Flashes to just 32 percent from the field (9-28) but could not carry the stout defense into the second half.
Kent State jumped out to 14 points before the first media time out, cutting the Buffalo lead to just one, 46-45, and then the Flashes cruised to a 10-0 run that gave them a 57-48 lead with 10:48 to play. The Bulls would provide a 13-0 run in just under three minutes to hit back and claim a 61-57 lead thanks to threes from Dave Barnett and Tony Watson and a three-point play from Watt. Kent State again used the three ball to retake the lead, this time for good, with Michael Porrini hitting two three pointers and Randal Holt adding his second and third threes of the night, his final three to provide the dagger with 1:31 to play that gave Kent a 73-68 lead.
Next up for UB will be the SEARS Bracketbuster matchup against South Dakota State on Saturday. The game will be broadcasted nationally on ESPNU at 1pm EST. It will be the first ever meeting between the Bulls and the Jackrabbits.