Watt’s 28 Helps Lift Bulls Past Miami, 84-74
BUFFALO, NY –Mitchell Watt scored a career-high 28 points to help lead the University at Buffalo men's basketball team to an 84-74 win over Miami (OH) at Alumni Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Bulls shot a sizzling 67 percent in the second half to erase a five-point deficit and put and end to their three-game losing skid.
Buffalo (17-9, 10-4) had to overcome a hot-shooting Miami squad that shot 51.9 percent from the field. After missing their first four three-point attempts, Miami connected on six triples in a row to build a 31-25 lead with 3:39 left in the half. The Bulls battled back and closed the half on an 8-2 scoring run to knot the game at 33 at the break.
Miami (9-18, 5-9 MAC) stayed hot early in the second half, making five of their first six shots from the field and built a 45-40 lead. The Bulls chipped away and a layup and free throw by Javon McCrea tied the contest at 51. The Bulls then began to heat up from long range. UB connected on three straight three-pointers. Zach Filzen, followed by Dave Barnett and Filzen again gave the Bulls a 60-53 lead with 9:20 left.
After Miami closed the lead to 63-60 with 6:05 left, Filzen connected from long range again to extend the UB lead to six. Oldham followed with a three of his own to put the Bulls ahead, 69-60, with 3:54 remaining.
Buffalo got back to what it does best to defeat the RedHawks. The Bulls outrebounded Miami, 36-28. The Bulls pulled down 12 offensive rebounds and outscored Miami, 17-1, in second chance points. Buffalo also committed a season-low seven turnovers.
Watt shot 11-of-16 from the field and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. The senior forward added five rebounds, four assists, three blocks and a steal. Filzen scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half. Javon McCrea also reached double figures with 12 points.
Jarod Oldham finished with 10 assists, one shy of his career high to go along with six points and a pair of steals. Barnett had eight points, six rebounds and three assists in 15 minutes of action.
"[Miami] shot it as well as anyone has shot it against us all year long," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "We still persevered. I thought we got into a rhythm in the second half offensively and moved the ball well. It was good to see us get a little bit of a spark back."
Buffalo will next play at first-place Akron on Wednesday night.