Tuesday's MAC Men's Basketball Results
Ohio 76, Northern Iowa 59
Kent State 67, St. Peter's 58
Eastern Michigan 52, Radford 48
Western Michigan 60, Winthrop 55
Evansville 77, Miami 75
Norfolk State 72, Toledo 70
Valparaiso 59, Northern Illinois 49
Nebraska 72, Central Michigan 69
Brigham Young 93, Buffalo 78
Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Ohio 76, Northern Iowa 59
The Ohio Men’s Basketball received a season-high 22 points from Ivo Baltic and coasted to a 76-59 victory at Northern Iowa on Tuesday evening in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Baltic surpassed his season-high in the first half with 16 points. His career-high is 31 which came in a win over Northern Illinois last season. D.J. Cooper continued to stuff the stat sheet with 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and his 200th career steal.
Backcourt partner Nick Kellogg scored 11 points (3-of-5 on threes), dished out five assists and grabbed four rebounds. T.J. Hall also played well offensively, matching his season-best with 10 points and four rebounds.
“I thought our defense was really good tonight,” Head Coach John Groce said. “We held a team that relies heavily on three-point shooting, to 30 percent from beyond the arc. I also have to give our post players a lot of credit because we left them in single coverage a lot tonight. Everyone on our team, including our staff, prepared diligently for this contest.”
The Bobcats jumped out to a 6-0 lead and never looked back during the first half. Leading 12-7, Ohio took a double-digit lead after a Reggie Keely jumper and Walter Offut triple.
The Green & White led by 11 before Cooper connected on a teardrop runner in the lane, TyQuane Goard slammed one home along the baseline and Baltic drilled a corner three-pointer for the team’s largest lead at 39-21.
UNI cut the Ohio lead to eight, right out of the halftime lockers, but the ‘Cats went on an 8-0 run after threes by Offut and Kellogg and a Baltic layup. Another 8-0 run, with the score 59-45 in favor of Ohio, gave the visitors their largest lead of the night at 22, midway through the second half. From that point on, the lead never dipped below 16 for the Bobcats.
Ohio shot 52 percent from the field for the game, the third straight game for the Bobcats making over half of their attempts. The Bobcats were also able to hold UNI to 35 percent shooting, the fourth-straight Ohio opponent to be held under 40 percent.
For the game, the Bobcats connected on 11 three-pointers, one shy of their season-high, while only attempting 21 tries. The Bobcats were a +5 in rebounds which allowed them to scored 32 points in the paint (+10). In fact, seven Ohio players finished with four or more rebounds in the contest.
Northern Iowa entered with a nine-game winning streak and had the No. 2 RPI in the nation. This was the first meeting ever against the Panthers as Groce improved to 4-0 against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference.
This is the best start to an Ohio season since 1940-41. The win tonight also improved the Bobcats’ record to 18-10 in their last 28 road/neutral contests.
Ohio returns home now for three-straight contests against North Carolina A&T (Dec. 23), Kennesaw State (Dec. 29) and Robert Morris (Jan. 2)
Kent State 67, St. Peter's 58
LOGAN, Utah – The D has certainly been the key for the Golden Flashes this season. Behind another solid defensive effort Kent State (8-1) won its sixth straight game a 67-58 victory over Saint Peter’s (2-8) on the first night of play in Utah at the Athletes in Action Classic sponsored by Gossner Foods.
The win improves the Golden Flashes to 4-0 away from home this year which gives the team the best start away from home in 75 years. The 1936-37 team was the last to win its first four games away from home.
Senior forward Justin Greene (Brooklyn, N.Y.) produced the first double-double of the season by the Golden Flashes with a team high 13 points and 10 rebounds. Junior guard Randal Holt (Cleveland, Ohio) added 12 points and junior forward Patrick Jackson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led the team with 11 rebounds including a key put-back dunk with one minute remaining that gave Kent State a decisive four-point cushion.
In a closely contested game that featured seven different lead changes in the second half alone, the Golden Flashes fended off an off shooting night by making clutch plays down the stretch.
Trailing 58-57 with just over two minutes remaining senior guard Michael Porrini (Massillon, Ohio) delivered once again hitting a go-ahead three-pointer from the right wing. Kent State would get the ball back after forcing one of the 18 Saint Peter’s turnovers with a shot clock violation on the other end. Porrini drove the lane, but when his lay-up was off the mark, Jackson was there with a one-handed put-back dunk for a 62-58 Golden Flashes lead with only one minute to play.
Porrini, who is nursing a sore right toe and was questionable at the start of the game, came up with a steal on the Peacocks ensuing possession allowing senior guard Carlton Guyton (Chicago, Ill.) to seal the game at the foul line with four straight free throws in the final minute.
“It certainly wasn’t one of our finest efforts of the year, but at the end when we needed to make some plays and we have done it many times before, we had guys step up and make plays when we needed them,” said Kent State Head Coach Rob Senderoff. “Saint Peter’s played well for a large part of the game and we were fortunate to come away with a win.”
Returning to action for the first time since a Dec. 10 win at Western Carolina, the Golden Flashes appeared to be out of sync in the first half falling behind by as many as 10 (22-12) at the 7:20 mark. Kent State cut the deficit to seven on a three-point play by Holt before Porrini first entered the game at the 6:59 mark. Upon Porrini’s arrival the Golden Flashes forced a turnover then he fed junior Chris Evans (Chesapeake, Va.) for a dunk. He then checked back out with 3:54 left in the half but only after sparking a 14-3 run gave Kent State a 26-23 lead.
“It made a huge difference when Mike (Porrini) came into the game,” said Senderoff. “His energy and toughness are key and just seeing him out there helped our guys He is an emotional leader for us and just having him out there on the court certainly gave our team a lift.”
Saint Peter’s would answer with Porrini back resting on the bench using an 11-5 spurt in the final four minutes to grab a 34-31 advantage at half time.
The second half would remain close with neither team leading by more than four points until the final minute.
Kent State controlled the glass for a third straight game grabbing a season best 48 rebounds compared to 32 for Saint Peter’s. The Golden Flashes now have a +12 rebounding margin in the last three games. It was also the fourth consecutive game in which the team has held the opposition to under 60 points.
“I really proud and happy for Patrick (Jackson) with how he played and he made some huge plays coming down the stretch,” said Senderoff. “Rebounding is probably what allowed us to stay in the game we had 25 offensive rebounds and Patrick along with Justin (Greene) were a big part of that.”
The Golden Flashes face Texas-Arlington tomorrow night at 5:30 pm (Mountain Time) and host Utah State on Thursday at 8:05 pm (Mountain Time).
Eastern Michigan 52, Radford 48
RADFORD, Va. ¬(EMUEagles.com) — The Eastern Michigan University men's basketball team used a strong second-half shooting effort to snap a five-game losing streak and post a 52-48 road win against the Radford University Highlanders here Tuesday, Dec. 20, in a non-conference game played in Dedmon Center.
Head Coach Rob Murphy's Eagles, now 5-6 on the season, came back from a 21-all halftime tie to hit six three-point field goals in the second half on the way to the win over Radford, now 3-10 on the season.
Eastern built a six-point second-half lead with 43.9 seconds left and made some crucial foul shots down the stretch to preserve the win.
Senior Quintin Dailey (Las Vegas, Nev.-Bishop Gorman-Sheridan C.C.) led the Eagles with a career-high 13 points, including making 3-of-4 triples, two straight during a key stretch midway in the second half.
The Eagles finished the game shooting 41 percent from the field, making 16-of-39 and shot a blistering 46.7 from beyond the three-point arc, making 7-of-15. Eastern also had a strong effort from the free-throw line, making 13-of-17. Eastern also held a 32-28 rebound edge.
Radford shot just 32.1 percent, making 17-of-53 field goals and just 8-of-27 triple tries. The Highlanders had two 18-point scorers in the game with both Jareal Smith and RJ Price hitting that mark.
The game marked the debut of 7-foot center Da'Shonte Riley (Detroit, Mich.-Country Day-Syracuse) who was playing his first game as an Eagle after being granted an NCAA eligibility waiver after transferring from Syracuse University this fall. He scored eight points with four rebounds in his EMU opener.
Senior guard Darrell Lampley (Linden, N.J.-Linden-Lakeland C.C.) put the Eagles on the board first with two free throws at the 19:29 mark.
Riley made the most of his first jumper for the Eagles, connecting on an eight-foot bank shot at the 15:28 mark and he would add another short banker at 14:31 to give the Eagles an 8-7 lead.
The home squad would build a five-point lead, 21-16, on Smith's second three-point field goal of the half, but the Eagles would fight back to tie it at 21-all on a triple by Dailey at the 2:17 mark.
The half would end with the score knotted at 21. The Eagles would finish the first half shooting 39.1 percent from the field on 9-of-23 while holding Radford to just 29.6 percent on 8-of-28 attempts. EMU held a slight17-16 advantage on the boards. Riley was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field in the first half for eight points with three rebounds.
Radford would open the second half out-scoring the Eagles, 10-6, to gain a four-point lead, 31-27, at the 13:53 mark, but two free throws and two triples by Dailey put the Eagles on top, 33-31, at the 12:08 mark of the second half.
EMU would go on to slowly build a six-point lead, 46-40, with 43.9 left and saw its advantage dip to two twice in the late going before holding on for the four-point win.
The Eagles will stay in Virginia, moving just 15 miles down the road from Radford to square off with Virginia Tech University Thursday, Dec. 22, at 7 p.m. in Cassel Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.
Western Michigan 60, Winthrop 55
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Western Michigan men’s basketball team received clutch contributions in the final minute of a close game, and the Broncos defeated the Winthrop Eagles 60-55 at University Arena on Tuesday. The win is the third straight victory for the Broncos and fourth in their last five games; WMU improves to 4-7 overall, while Winthrop falls to 4-8.
While each of the Broncos’ previous three wins had been decided by 10 points or more, WMU showed the capacity to play clutch situational basketball with the game on the line against the Eagles. Holding a somewhat precarious 52-49 lead with just over one minute remaining, the Broncos saw two veterans and a freshman ice the win in the paint and on the free throw line. Senior Demetrius Ward extended the Broncos’ lead to 55-49 by hitting a nifty lay-up with 50 seconds remaining, and guards Austin Richie and Mike Douglas went 6-of-6 in the final 20 seconds of the game at the free throw line. All told, the Broncos finished 19-of-22 (.864) from the charity stripe, while Douglas ended up with a game-high 15 points.
The Broncos also got a key stop with 10 seconds remaining and leading just four points. Winthrop’s Andre Jones, who entered the contest leading Winthrop in scoring but was held to just 2-of-12 shooting from the field against the Broncos, missed a hotly contested jumper at the 10-second mark. Richie grabbed the defensive rebound and took a hard foul from Gideon Gamble; Richie made both free throws to make it a two-possession game again at 58-52, and would make another pair of free throws on the ensuing possession to ensure a Bronco victory.
It looked as though the Broncos had turned the corner earlier in the half, and for a while it appeared WMU would cruise to a victory. After Shayne Whittington converted a three-point play at the 16:06 mark by making a lay-up, drawing a foul, and making the free throw, the Broncos went on a 12-4 run to take the 37-32 lead with 10:13 remaining. After the Eagles’ Gamble tipped in a loose shot to cut the lead to three points, the Broncos embarked on an 11-2 run that was sparked by a three-point play from Matt Stainbrook.
The Broncos continued to attack the hoop late and capped their run with a run of four free throws from Richie and Douglas on consecutive possessions. WMU held its biggest lead of the night at the 5:50 mark of the second half, going ahead 48-36 thanks to superb shooting from the charity stripe.
The Broncos would lead for the greater portion of the first half, having rebounded from a 5-0 Eagles run to start to take the lead 7-5 on a Nate Hutcheson three-pointer. Hutcheson would have a game-high 10 points in the first half as the Broncos led the Eagles for the final 15 minutes of play in the period. The biggest lead would come at the 3:12 mark of the half, when freshman Hayden Hoerdemann drained a three with the shot clock winding down to give WMU a 25-17 advantage. However, the Eagles would score the final six points of the first half to pull it close, making it 25-23 after 20 minutes of play.
Evansville 77, Miami 75
OXFORD, Ohio--After an exciting back and forth second half at Millett Hall Tuesday night, the Miami University men's basketball (3-6) team fell to Evansville (5-5) by a score of 77-75. Freshman guard Brian Sullivan scored a career-high 18 points and four RedHawks scored in double figures, but it was not enough to overcome the Purple Aces' 76-percent field goal percentage in the second half.
Senior forward Julian Mavunga and Sullivan led all scorers with 18 points apiece, while Mavunga also led all players with 12 rebounds. Harris and sophomore guard Josh Sewell reached double figures in scoring as well, registering 10 and 14 points, respectively. Denver Holmes led Evansville in scoring with 15 points, while Ned Cox led the team in rebounding, grabbing five boards.
After Evansville jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, Miami's offense took over and started a 12-2 scoring run to take a 12-6 lead with 14:52 left in the half. Sophomore forward Jon Harris added five of those points, including Miami's first points of the night. Brian Sullivan also added five points.
Evansville fought back and cut the Miami lead to two on a 3-pointer by Kenny Harris at the 9:27 mark of the first half, but a three-point play by freshman guard Will Sullivan extended the RedHawk lead to five, making the score 20-15.
The Will Sullivan play was the beginning of an 8-3 scoring run by Miami that further extended its lead to 25-18 with 6:33 left in the half. Back-to-back layups by the Purple Aces' Ryan Sawvell, however, brought Evansville back within three, 25-22. The RedHawks responded with yet another little scoring run, this time a 7-2 flurry to bring the score to 32-24 with 3:11 remaining in the half.
A pair of Evansville free throws and a 3-pointer by Brian Sullivan were the remaining points of the first half, and Miami went into the locker room with a 35-26 lead. Brian Sullivan led all scorers in the first half with 13 points, one off of his career high. Mavunga led all players with six rebounds. For Evansville, Sawvell led all Purple Aces with nine points, while Rokas Cesnulevisius led the team with three rebounds.
Miami shot extremely well in the first half, making nearly 60 percent of its shots, including five of 11 from long range. Brian Sullivan highlighted the RedHawk shooting effort, making five of his six shots and all three of his 3-pointers.
Both teams came out firing in the second half, with Miami making its first three field goals and Evansville making its first five. The RedHawks and Purple Aces were equally perfect from the charity stripe, with both squads making all eight of their combined attempts. The result was a tied game, 44-44, with 14:58 left in the game. In total, the Evansville scoring run reached 18-9 to open up the second half.
At the 13:30 mark of the second half, Evansville took its first lead since the opening minutes of the game on a 3-pointer by Jordan Nelson to make the score 47-46. Evansville remained perfect on all shot attempts until the 12:34 mark of the half, and by that time it had built a 52-46 lead over the RedHawks.
Not to be outdone, Miami rattled off eight straight points, highlighted by a clutch 3-pointer from Brian Sullivan and a three-point play by Mavunga to regain the lead, 54-52, with 9:45 left in the game. Sullivan's trey gave him 16 points on the night, which eclipsed his previous career-high of 14.
Evansville stayed hot, however, and built its lead up to 65-59 with 5:21 left in the game. Brian Sullivan answered right back with a shot of his own to cut the deficit to four, 65-61. After getting fouled on a shot down low and making the first of his two free throws, Mavunga reached 10 points for the game and, with his 10 rebounds, recorded his sixth double-double in seven games. He went on to make the second freebie to make the score 67-63 in favor of Evansville.
With two minutes remaining in the game, Mavunga drilled a 3-pointer to tie it up at 69-69. On its next possession, Evansville's Colt Ryan made both of his free throw attempts to give the Purple Aces their lead back, 71-69. Ryan knocked down a jumper on Evansville's next possession, and Mavunga answered right back with a shot of his own to bring the RedHawks within two, 73-71, with 35 seconds remaining.
Sophomore guard Quinten Rollins laid one in to make the score 75-73 with 20 seconds remaining in the game. On the ensuing inbounds pass, the RedHawks fouled Evansville's Ken Harris, who proceeded to make both of his free throw attempts to put the Purple Aces back on top by four, 77-73. Mavunga made a layup with two seconds left on the clock to make the score 77-75 and make it a one-possession game, but Evansville's inbounds pass sailed to the other end of the court where the final seconds ticked off the clock and gave the Purple Aces a victory.
The RedHawks travel to Columbus on Thursday to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes at 8:30 p.m. at Nationwide Arena. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Norfolk State 72, Toledo 70
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo’s second-half comeback came up just short on Tuesday evening in a last-second 72-70 loss to Norfolk State (8-5) in Savage Arena.
The Rockets (7-4) trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half before tying the score at 70-all on sophomore G Rian Pearson’s layup with 36 seconds remaining. UT was able to get a stop on the next possession, but sophomore F DeLino Dear stepped out of bounds after grabbing the rebound with 3.7 seconds remaining.
The Spartans’ Kyle O’Quinn then took the inbounds pass and laid it in with 2.4 seconds left. The Rockets attempted an alley-oop pass on their last shot but were unsuccessful.
Junior G Curtis Dennis paced Toledo offensively with a career-high 20 points in just his second game in a Rocket uniform after transferring from New Mexico. Pearson was also in double figures with 16 points to go along with a team-high eight rebounds with sophomore F Reese Holliday contributing 11 points.
Sophomore G Pendarvis Williams led Norfolk State with 17 points with O’Quinn adding 16 points, nine rebounds and five blocks.
The Spartans shot 55.6 percent from the field, the most by a UT opponent this season. NSU also outrebounded the Rockets by a 35-28 margin which negated Toledo’s season-low 11 turnovers.
Toledo will travel to Fort Myers, FL tomorrow for a matchup against Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday, Dec. 22. Tip-off time is set for 7:05 p.m.
Valparaiso 59, Northern Illinois 49
DEKALB, Ill. -- The Northern Illinois men’s basketball team led by one with nine minutes to play, but was unable to hang on as it fell to Valparaiso, 59-48, on Tuesday night at the NIU Convocation Center. Freshman wing Abdel Nader (Skokie, Ill./Niles North) led the Huskies with 12 points.
“I thought we played our best half of basketball in the first half,” said NIU head coach Mark Montgomery. “We got up by seven, we were sharing the ball, we were getting good drives and we were in a great offensive rhythm. In the second half, their zone slowed us up a little bit and we started turning the ball over and forcing some shots.”
Freshmen forward Keith Gray (Chicago, Ill./Brooks Academy) scored nine points and grabbed a career-best seven rebounds.
Valparaiso scored the first four points of the game before a 9-0 run gave NIU a five-point lead with 15:37 to play. Nader scored five during the early run for the Huskies.
A free throw from Keith Gray gave NIU a 14-9 lead before back-to-back triples by the Crusaders gave Valparaiso a 15-14 lead just past the midway point of the first half. The Huskies responded with a pair of free throws by freshman guard Zach Miller (Chicago, Ill./Glenbard East) and a layup by freshman forward Kevin Gray (Chicago, Ill./Brooks Academy), off a feed from Miller, to take a three-point advantage.
Miller finished with a career-high six assists.
After a bucket by Valparaiso trimmed the NIU lead to one, 18-17, sophomore guard Aksel Bolin (Asker, Norway/Asker) connected on consecutive possessions for the Huskies and freshman forward Jeremiah Jackson (Chicago, Ill./Warren Township) made a pair of free throws, giving NIU a 24-17 lead with 4:56 remaining before the break.
Valparaiso used an 8-4 burst to cut the NIU advantage to three, 28-25, at the half.
Keith Gray led the Huskies with seven points in the opening 20 minutes; Ryan Broekhoff led all scorers with nine for the Crusaders. NIU shot 40 percent (10-of-25) in the opening half while Valparaiso shot 39.1 percent (9-of-23). The difference in the first half was NIU’s seven made free throws to four by Valparasio.
Valparaiso cut the NIU lead to just one, 30-29, early in the second half before back-to-back baskets by Nader and Keith Gray pushed the Huskie lead back to five, 34-29.
With NIU leading by a half-dozen, Valparaiso used a 7-0 run to take a 38-37 lead with 10:39 remaining in the contest. A basket by senior forward Tim Toler (Indianapolis, Ind./Avon/Danville Area CC) gave the lead back to the Huskies, but the Crusaders then used a 14-3 run to take a 52-42 lead with just over four minutes to play.
Northern Illinois cut the Valparaiso lead back to as little as six, 54-48, after triples by Toler and freshman guard Stian Berg (Baerum, Norway/Norges Toppidretts Gymnas), but the Crusaders made seven-of-eight free throws down the stretch to help preserve the victory.
Valparaiso went 16-of-19 from the free-throw line in the contest; NIU was 7-of-9 from the charity stripe and did not shoot a free throw in the second half.
Broekhoff scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Valparaiso; Will Bogan added 18 points for the Crusaders.
Northern Illinois will return to action on Monday, Jan. 2, when the Huskies host Roosevelt University in their first game of 2012 at 7 p.m., at the NIU Convocation Center.
Nebraska 72, Central Michigan 69
LINCOLN, Neb. - Central Michigan dropped a second straight close road game on Tuesday night as Nebraska held off the Chippewas for a 72-69 victory in the Devaney Center.
CMU trailed by as many as 12 in the second half before Trey Zeigler hit a pair of free throws to make it a one-point Nebraska lead, 57-56 with 5:01 to go.
However, the Chippewas shot just 55 percent (11-for-20) from the stripe compared to 77 percent (20-for-26) by the Cornhuskers and that was the key difference on the stat sheet.
"We had some lost opportunities on offense," coach Ernie Zeigler said. "We had some wasted possessions and the free throw line came to bite us in the behind.
"When its a one-possession game either way, you have to be able to have a shot in the possession or finish off at the foul line."
The Chippewas shot 52 percent from the floor, hitting 25 of its 48 attempts, including draining eight 3-pointers. However, Nebraska was right behind with 50 percent shooting from the field.
Zeigler scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second half while keying the Chippewas' comeback effort. He flirted with a triple-double adding eight rebounds and a career-high eight assists.
Olivier Mbaigoto scored seven points in the game's first four minutes but he was whistled with his second foul and had to sit the rest of the half. He ended with 15 points after averaging just 2.6 points over the last five outings.
"It was huge that he made a layup to start and got some confidence," Zeigler said. "However, we try to avoid having somebody pick up their third foul before the half and we were playing pretty well at the start."
The Chippewas actually jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, capped off by an incredible alley oop dunk by Derek Jackson.
But, soon after the Cornhuskers rattled off 11 straight points and the home team took an eight-point lead into the locker room at the break thanks to a buzzer-beating trey by Toney McCray.
Central shot 58 percent in the second half while holding Nebraska to just 41 percent, but missed chances at the line were CMU's downfall. The Chippewas were 8-for-14 (57 percent) from the stripe in the game's final 10 minutes.
"I'm really proud of these guys," coach Zeigler said. "The hard part is we have had two consecutive games that we were right there and battling hard. It's tough when you are not getting rewarded with a 'W' when you are fighting and battling.
"We are better team than we were a few weeks ago and than when we started the season. There were a lot of bright spots tonight and we have to continue to build upon them."
Jackson finished with 13 points, including three 3-pointers, and two steals. Freshman Austin Keel made a key contribution off the bench for the second straight outing with 10 points, three assists and two rebounds.
All five Nebraska starters were in double figures with Brandon Richardson and Bo Spencer each posting 15 points apiece. Spencer added nine assists.
Brandon Ubel, McCray and Caleb Walker all had 11 points each for the Cornhuskers.
The Chippewas play their final non-league game before Mid-American Conference action starts when they visit Wright State on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Raiders defeated Idaho in overtime on Monday by an 80-78 final.
Brigham Young 93, Buffalo 78
PROVO, UT – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team shot 53 percent from the field, including 8-of-16 from beyond the arc, but it wasn't enough to stop a high-octane BYU offense. The Cougars defeated the Bulls, 93-78, in front of a crowd of 9,632 at the Marriott Center on Tuesday night.
Coming off a 10-day break for final exams, the Bulls showed little rust as they jumped out to an 11-3 lead and made their first nine shots from the field. UB led 22-15, before the Cougars mounted an 18-5 scoring run in just over four minutes to take 33-27 lead. The Bulls battled back to tie the contest at 37 with 4:10 left in the first half, before BYU closed the stanza on a 10-2 scoring run to lead 47-39 at the break.
Three-point shooting and transition points was the key to the Cougars' success in the first half as they knocked down seven three-pointers and outscored the Bulls 10-0 in fast break points.
BYU used the same formula in the second half to build its lead to 17 points with 15:41 remaining. Zach Filzen hit consecutive three-pointers and a Dave Barnett jumper followed by a Javon McCrea shot in the lane, cut the Cougars' advantage to 66-57 with 13:18 left.
A jump shot by Titus Robinson with 12:08 remaining made the score 68-59 in favor of the Cougars, but that would be as close as the Bulls would get as BYU responded with an 8-1 scoring run to extend its lead to 15 and put the game out of reach.
Mitchell Watt led four Bulls in double-figures with 18 points and added a team-high eight rebounds. McCrea finished with 16 points and Filzen added 14. Filzen was tightly-guarded all night, but the nation's leader in three-pointers still shot 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Barnett scored 10 points to round out UB's double-digit scorers.
Buffalo (6-3) was outrebounded, 33-28, for just the second time this season and BYU scored 17 second chance points. Points in transition were also a key to BYU's success as they held a 14-0 edge in fast break points.
"Our transition defense wasn't good enough and we only had four offensive rebounds," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "You got to credit BYU. They came in and blocked out hard and we didn't respond to it with enough effort. "
BYU (8-3) finished the night with 13 three-pointers and shot 53 percent from the field. The Cougars got career highs from both Brock Zylstra and Anson Winder, who finished with 26 and 20 points, respectively.
Jarod Oldham tied a career high with nine assists and added five points, four rebounds and three steals for the Bulls.
Buffalo will next play at Temple on Dec. 28.