The Bulls led by as many eight points in the opening half as Buffalo had a 16-8 lead just eight minutes into the contest. UB got a boost off the bench from sophomore Lamonte Bearden, who returned to the lineup after missing the last three games.
Buffalo continued to lead by six with 11:24 left when Bowling Green. . .
UB cut the Bowling Green lead to one a few times early in the second half, but the Falcons went back up by six at 67-61 with 8:45 left before UB made its game-changing run. A layup from junior Willie Conner began a 16-0 rally that kept Bowling Green off the scoreboard for the next five plus minutes.
Thirteen of the 16 points in the run came from either Conner or Hamilton. A layup by Bearden with 1:53 left gave the Bulls their largest lead of the game at 83-69. The 14-point margin was also the final margin of victory.
"We needed that win in a bad way," said head coach Nate Oats, who became just the third head coach in school history to win 15 games in his first season. "I thought we played pretty well for most of the first half, but then we had a little lapse there towards the end of the half.
“Early in the second half we couldn't get anything going and we struggled guarding them, so we made some adjustments. Having Bearden back today helped out in a big way, and it helped us move the ball on offense."
Hamilton led all scorers with a career-high 24 points as he went 9-of-15 from the floor. The 6-6 junior added seven rebounds, two assists and tied his career-high with four steals.
Bearden finished with 16 points and a game-high six assists, while freshman CJ Massinburg had 15 points and a pair of steals. Conner added 14 points as he went 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
Senior forward Spencer Parker topped Bowling Green scoring with 21 points, hitting 8-of-10 from the floor. Wesley Alcegaire (6-of-9) collected 13 points, while Zack Denny (6-of-10) flirted with a double-double, totaling 15 points with nine rebounds.
Bowling Green shot 54.4 percent from the field but struggled both behind the arc (28.6%) and from the charity stripe (53.3%). The Falcons owned 18 turnovers.
Buffalo shot just under 50 percent for the game and went 25-of-33 from the free throw line. The Bulls had 12 turnovers, but just three of those came in the second half.
Kent State at Buffalo (Tuesday, 6 p.m. ET)
Ohio at Bowling Green (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET)
(Courtesy of UB Athletics/MRO Edit)