BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team erased an eight-point halftime deficit to defeat Bowling Green, 68-65, at Alumni Arena on Saturday night. The win snapped the Bulls' four-game losing streak and gave them their first Mid-American Conference win of the season.
Once again, Javon McCrea led UB with 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. It was the junior forward's third straight double-double and fourth in the last five games.
Buffalo also got a great performance from freshman point guard Jarryn Skeete who scored a career-high 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting and added six rebounds.
Bowling Green jumped out to a 15-3 lead and held the lead for the entire first half. The Falcons made of 6-of-8 three-pointers in the first stanza to pace their scoring. Buffalo trailed, 33-25, at the break.
Auraum Nuiriankh helped spark the Bulls second-half comeback. The junior swingman hit a three-pointer and after a pair of McCrea free throws, hit a layup and was fouled. His free throw knotted the game at 35 less than two minutes into the second half.
Bowling Green built its lead back up to 53-44 with 11:43. The Bulls responded with a 14-4 scoring run and when Tony Watson connected on a three-pointer, UB grabbed its first lead since the opening moments of the game, 58-57, with 8:01 left.
The lead would see-saw between teams over the final eight minutes of the game. McCrea then gave Buffalo the lead for good when he took a feed from Nuiriankh and hit a layup to put the Bulls ahead, 65-63, with 31 seconds remaining.
McCrea corralled a Bowling Green miss for his career-best 14th rebound of the night. He was fouled a converted both free throws to give the Bulls a 67-63 lead with 12 seconds left.
Bowling Green had one last chance, trailing by three points in the waning seconds, but Jordan Crawford's three-point attempt was off the mark.
"Going into the game we talked about the ball finding rhythm. I thought tonight we did a better job of that, particularly in the second half," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "I thought the opening minute and a half, two minutes of the second half our guys demonstrated a lot of determination."
Buffalo shot 54 percent in the second half, including 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.
Nuiriankh finished with nine points and Watson added seven for Buffalo. All nine players that saw action scored for UB.
The Bulls will next hit the road and play at Ball State on Wednesday night.