With the win, the Bulls improved to 8-0 at Alumni Arena as well as 14-6 on the season and 5-3 in MAC play. Kent State, winner of six straight entering Friday’s matchup, fell to 16-6, 6-2 MAC. It remained one-half game in front of second-place Bowling Green and Akron entering Saturday’s action. Buffalo is one game back in the MAC East standings.
Kent State scored the first six points of the game, but UB senior Xavier Ford then ignited a 17-2 run over the next six minutes. Ford and sophomore Shannon Evans combined to score the first 12 Buffalo points, and the Bulls never trailed again. Kent State pulled within four at 19-15, but UB answered with 20-5 burst to establish a 39-20 with 3:19 left.
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A pair of three pointers from Ford helped the Bulls score the first eight points of the second half and the hosts never led by less than 23 over the final 20 minutes of play. UB extended its lead to 30 points following a layup from Evans, which gave the Bulls a 65-35 lead. The 30-point advantage was tied for the largest of the game.
"It was a great game to be a part of," said head coach Bobby Hurley. "Just the energy of the crowd and the atmosphere and the way we played defensively was great. Kent State is a very good team that is having an excellent season, and they will continue to have an excellent season. For me, the night was about Xavier Ford. He was a star and he did everything we needed to win tonight."
Ford finished with a career-high 25 points, as he became the fourth different UB player to record a 20-point game this year. He went 9-of-14 from the floor, including 3-for-6 from behind the arc. Prior to Friday, Ford had hit just three career three pointers. Ford added nine rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Junior Justin Moss finished the evening with 13 points and nine rebounds, while Evans added 12 points, four assists and a steal. Kris Brewer had eight points off the bench.
Kent State had just one player in double figures. Forward Jimmy Hall tallied 16 points, connecting on 6-of-9 from the field (1-of-1 on threes) and 3-of-4 at the stripe.
After winning two straight at home, the Bulls will return to the road next week, beginning on Wednesday(7 p.m. ET) at Ball State. Kent State will be at Western Michigan Wednesday (7 p.m. ET).
-- The 55 points scored by Kent State was its second fewest total of the season as the Golden Flashes had a six-game winning streak snapped.
-- Friday’s game was televised nationally on ESPNU.