OXFORD, Ohio – Blake Hamilton led four Bulls in double figures Tuesday as Buffalo exploded for 47 points in the second half to defeat the Miami RedHawks, 77-60, at Millett Hall.
Hamilton led all scorers with 22 points as UB raised its record to 10-8 (3-2 MAC). Freshman C.J. Massinburg contributed 13 points, while David Kadiri and Nick Perkins added 12 and 10, respectively, off the bench.
“I know their record wasn’t great, but I know they had talent and they’ve been playing hard,” Buffalo head coach Nate Oats said of Miami. “It’s definitely . . .
Miami, currently mired in an eight-game skid and winless in conference play, fell to 6-12 (0-5 MAC). As it was Saturday at Ball State, the second half proved to be the RedHawks downfall.
Miami was up on BSU 28-17 at the break, but fell 48-46 in Muncie. After taking a 32-30 lead to the home locker room Tuesday, MU struggled the rest of the way. Only one RedHawk reached double figures, and that was senior point guard Eric Washington. However, after scoring 13 points in the first stanza, he failed to score in the second half.
Buffalo, meanwhile, turned it up after intermission. The Bulls got out in transition and also managed to inflict heavy damage inside.
UB held second half advantages in:
● Points in the paint (26-8)
● Second chance points (15-5)
● Fast break points (8-2)
By the end of the night, Buffalo owned a 44-25 overall advantage on the boards, with 19 offensive rebounds among the Bulls total.
“I thought the second half energy was a whole lot better than our first half,” Oats said. “I thought we just kind of slept-walked through the first half. I had to light a fire under then at the half, (and) they came out responding great.”
Miami had two more field goals than UB in the first stanza, hitting 12-of-27 from the field overall and 6-of-15 from beyond the arc. MU was 2-of-2 at the stripe. It dropped to 40.0 percent (10-of-25) after intermission and was also at 40 percent (2-of-5) on treys.
Buffalo had a lackluster first half shooting the ball, hitting 10-of-29 (35.7%) from the field and 2-of-10 (20%) trey attempts. However, the Bulls converted 8-of-10 at the stripe to stay within two (32-30) at the break.
One of those treys – a triple from Hamilton -- gave UB the lead just 10 seconds into the second period. It would never trail again.
“Blake was unbelievable again,” Oats said. “He was one rebound short of a double-double. He’s doing a little bit of everything, like we need him to do.”
Miami managed to knot the contest at 39-all with a jumper by Geovonie McKnight at 15:51. Jarryn Skeete missed a three at the other end, but Buffalo pulled down the rebound and Skeete ended up scoring on a layup to give UB a lead that it would not surrender.
Miami was still within five points (49-44) after Chris Bryant’s basket at 13:34, but the Bulls then outscored MU 24-7 while building up a 73-52 lead to put the game out of reach. The hosts got no closer than the final 17-point margin after that.
“It’s a good, solid win for us,” said Oats, whose team has fared relatively well on the road. “We’ve been on the road three times. We won at Kent, and we won at Miami,” he continued. “With six of the first nine on the road, if we can win some of those road games and put ourselves in a (good) position in the second half of the season when we’ve got six of nine at home, I think we can really make a run late.”