KALAMAZOO, MI – For the second straight game, the University at Buffalo men’s basketball team ran into a hot-shooting opponent. This time it was Western Michigan that shot 55.4 percent from the field, including a sizzling 64.5 percent in the second half to hand the Bulls an 85-64 loss at University Arena on Wednesday night. It was UB’s fifth straight loss.
The Bulls had three players score in double-figures, led by Yassin Idbihi (Tangier, Morocco/Schloss Hagerhof) who had 13 points and seven rebounds. Parnell Smith (Indianapolis, IN/Pike) added 12 points and Max Boudreau (Montreal, Quebec/Champlain St. Lambert) reached double-digits for the third straight game with 10 points - all in the second half. Western Michigan (10-11, 5-3 MAC) led for nearly the entire game. After falling behind by 11 with 3:13 left in the first half, the Bulls went on an 8-2 scoring run, capped by a Calvin Betts (Rochester, NY/Rush-Henrietta) lay-up to cut the deficit to five points late in the half. The Broncos led 36-29 at the break.
Western Michigan drained seven of its nine three-pointers in the second half to pull away for the victory. Buffalo (9-12, 1-7 MAC) fared well offensively in the second half as it shot 53.6 percent from the floor. However, turnovers doomed the Bulls again as they coughed up the ball 22 times, leading to 33 points for the Broncos. Local product Byron Mulkey (Wheatfield, NY/Niagara Wheatfield) saw the first action of his career on Wednesday night. The freshman guard didn’t score, but he did have an assist and two rebounds and didn’t turn the ball over in 18 minutes.
“Western Michigan pushed the pace and got the ball up the floor quickly and were very aggressive off the dribble,” head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. “We didn’t do a good enough job containing them and keeping them on the perimeter.” Idbihi’s 13 points gave him 1,342 for his career, moving him past Rob Middlebrooks (1988-92) for seventh place on UB’s all-time scoring list. The Bulls will get a welcomed taste of home cooking when it hosts Northern Illinois on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is slated for 2:00 pm and will be followed by the UB women’s basketball game against Ball State. Four of the Bulls’ next five games will be played at Alumni Arena.
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