The two teams went back and forth in the first half as Kent State held its largest lead of the game at four with an early 16-12 advantage. The Bulls responded with seven straight points as a fast-break layup from freshman CJ Massinburg gave the Bulls a 19-16 lead. UB never led by more than four in the first half either, but with the score tied at 31-31, UB went on a quick 5-2 run to end the half up 36-33.
Kent State (18-10, 9-6 MAC) took a . . .
The Golden Flashes pulled back within eight with 9:39 left, but the Bulls went on another 13-3 run to extend their lead to 70-52 with 7:22 left. A free throw by Massinburg gave the Bulls their largest lead of the game at 85-64 with 1:20 left. The night was capped off on an offensive rebound and put-back by freshman Zac DiSalvo, who scored his first career points.
"We really turned up the energy in the second half, especially after that first media timeout, and I don't think they got an offensive rebound after that," said head coach Nate Oats. "As well as keeping them off the boards we got some stops and it went from tied to a double-digit lead pretty quick."
Junior forward Jimmy Hall paced the Flashes with 20 points. Khaliq Spicer notched a double-double with 13 point and 11 rebounds. Deon Edwin chipped in 14 points.
Massinburg led the Bulls with a game-high 21 points, the third time in the last four games that he has scored at least 20 points. He went 7-of-10 from the floor and tied his career high by shooting 4-of-5 from three-point range.
Junior Blake Hamilton added 15 points, three rebounds, three assists, three blocks and a steal, while Perkins added 13 points and three rebounds. Perkins went 5-of-8 from the floor, but a perfect 4-for-4 from inside the arc.
Redshirt freshman Ikenna Smart had a career-high 11 points, while adding seven rebounds in 23 minutes. He went 3-of-4 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Sophomore Lamonte Bearden added 11 points and had a game-high eight assists.As a team, the Bulls outscored the Kent State bench 49-11 with 47 points coming from freshmen or redshirt freshmen.
Buffalo had 19 assists and just 12 turnovers, while also adding eight blocked shots. The Golden Flashes turned it over 15 times in the game. The Bulls shot 55.6% for the game and 64.0% in the second half. It was the first time they shot over 60% in a half since 12/19/14 against Niagara.
The Bulls now head out on the road Saturday afternoon when they face Ohio at the Convocation Center. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. Kent State travels to Oxford, where the Flashes will tangle with Miami (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET).
(Courtesy of UB athletics)