Downing's career night paces UB to win
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (Univ. at Buffalo) — The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team scored a season high in points in a 91-73 win over Central Michigan at Alumni Arena on Wednesday night. Cameron Downing came off the bench to lead the Bulls with a career-high 21 points.
Downing was one of five players to score in double-figures. Auraum Nuiriankh also scored a career-high 18 points and added 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. The junior swingman was a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line and added a career-best five assists.
Javon McCrea had 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting, eight rebounds and blocked two shots. He moved into third place in school history with 149 career blocks.
Jarryn Skeete added 12 points and Tony Watson chipped in with 11, including three three-pointers.
Buffalo (8-13, 3-4 MAC) never trailed as it used 61.5 percent shooting in the first half to build its lead to as much as 15 points. The Bulls shot the ball well from distance early on as Watson, Skeete and Nuiriankh each had a pair of three-pointers in the first half. Buffalo lead, 43-30, at the break.
The Bulls built their lead to 68-51 with 8:19, before Central Michigan went on an 8-0 scoring run to cut the UB advantage to 72-63 with 6:07 left. But following four straight Nuiriankh free throws and a Skeete layup, UB led 78-65 and silenced the Chippewas’ threat.
Buffalo shot a season-best 58 percent from the field and made 23-of-26 free throw attempts. The Bulls dominated the glass, outrebounding Central Michigan, 39-22, and scored 18 second-chance points. UB had 21 assists on 30 field goals.
“For the first time we played from tip-to-horn against a zone defense and we had some pretty good success with it,” head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. “When we start to pass the basketball and play with rhythm, everyone will play better.”
It was the best game of Downing’s career as he continued his solid play of late. The junior forward shot 8-for-10 from the field and added four rebounds and two assists.
Buffalo will head back on the road and play at Western Michigan on Saturday night at 7:00 pm.