The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team was outscored 28-13 in the second half at Eastern Michigan on Wednesday night as the Bulls fell to the Eagles, 65-46 at the Convocation Center. Junior Javon McCrea led the Bulls with 15 points.
Eastern Michigan opened up a nine-point lead in the first half as the Eagles went on a 17-4 run midway through the first half, taking a 28-19 lead. The Bulls managed to cut it to within three late in the first half and following an Eastern Michigan three-pointer, UB’s Cameron Downing beat the buzzer with a layup, putting the Bulls into the half down just four, 37-33.
UB opened the second half with a layup from McCrea to pull within 37-35, but scored just seven points over the next 16 minutes. Over that time, the host Eagles went on a 24-7 run and took their largest lead of the game at 19. Eastern Michigan was extremely efficient on offense in the second half, shooting 50 percent from the floor and turning the ball over just once, and that came just two minutes into the half. The Bulls on the other hand, which shot 52.4 percent from the floor in the first half, shot just 5-of-18 from the field in the second half.
Due to Eastern Michigan’s aggressive defense, strong rebounding and its half-court offensive sets, the Bulls managed to take just 39 shots, by far their fewest of the season. The 16 made field goal by Buffalo were its second fewest of the year.
“I don’t think we came out of the lockerroom with the intensity that it takes to win in this league,” said head coach Reggie Witherspoon. “It wasn’t an X and O’s thing, we just didn’t compete tonight, and they did a good job taking full advantage of that.”
McCrea finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, just missing a double-double. The nine rebounds put him in fifth place in school history surpassing Mark Bortz. It was the 11th straight game that McCrea reached double figures in scoring. Redshirt sophomore Will Regan added 12 points, while senior Tony Watson added eight points. Junior Cameron Downing had seven points off the bench. The Buffalo post players accounted for all 13 second half points.
Eastern Michigan was led by 17 points from Glenn Bryant and 10 points off the bench from Austin Harper. The Eagles took advantage of every Buffalo turnover, scoring 23 points on 13 turnovers.
The Bulls return to Alumni Arena for three of their next four at home beginning Saturday afternoon against Northern Illinois. Tip off with the Huskies is set for 1:00 pm.