Buffalo basketball seasons end on same day

Men’s and women’s hoops fall in Round of 32

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Buffalo men’s and women’s basketball seasons ended within an hour of each other. The men fell to the No. 3 seed Texas Tech Red Raiders 78-58 in Tulsa, OK and the women fell 84-72 to No. 2 seed UConn in Storrs, CT.

The men completed the best season in school history with 32 wins but lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament for the second-straight season. The women were tossed into a matchup with one of the top teams in the country after upsetting Rutgers on Friday. The two teams have combined for five wins in the NCAA tournament the past two years and three Mid-American conference championships.

Men’s basketball entered the NCAA tournament this season as a No.6 seed, their highest seed ever. The Bulls faced former UB coach Bobby Hurley in the Round of 64 and easily beat his Arizona State team 91-74.

Senior forward Nick Perkins and guard Jeremy Harris each had 21 points while senior guard CJ Massinburg had 18. Buffalo made over 50 percent of its shots and outrebounded the Sun Devils 42-26. Buffalo wasn’t able to keep up its shooting percentage or rebounding against Texas.

Against Texas Tech, the Bulls put together their worst offensive output of the season by points scored. The previous low was 62 points against Southern Illinois. Buffalo finished with shooting splits of 36.5/33.3/50.0 and was outrebounded 45-32 by the Red Raiders.

The Bulls were down only eight points at half despite only getting six points combined from Massinburg, Harris, Dontay Caruthers and Jayvon Graves.

Things didn’t improve in the second half and Texas continued to dominate the Bulls on their way to the 20-point victory.

It was the last game for two of the best players in school history with Massinburg and Perkins and the last game for Harris, Caruthers and Montell McRae.

Massinburg finishes his career with the second-most points in school history at 1,990 and set the school record for points in a season with 636 this year.

The UB women battled to the very end against UConn but came up just short. The Bulls were down 71-49 at one point and battled back to make the score 75-66 with 4:18 remaining.

Senior guard Cierra Dillard continued her dominance of any competition finishing with 29 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and three steals.

Despite being outsized by the Huskies, Buffalo battled on the boards and pulled down 25 offensive rebounds. Senior forward Brittany Morrison finished with nine points and 10 rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Buffalo bothered the Huskies with their zone defense with junior forward Summer Hemphill patrolling the top of the three-point line and taking away UConn’s main ball handler.

The Bulls held the Huskies to just three points over a 10-minute stretch from the end of the third quarter and throughout the fourth.

Buffalo has won an NCAA tournament game the past two seasons and won the MAC tournament despite being the No. 4 conference seed. The Bulls finish their season with a 24-10 record.

Men’s and women’s basketball combined for a 56-14 record, two MAC championships, two NCAA tournament berths and two tournament wins.

Nathaniel Mendelson is the senior sports editor and can be reached at Nathaniel.mendelson@ubspectrun.com and on Twitter @NateMendelson

NATHANIEL MENDELSON


 Nathaniel Mendelson has been writing for The Spectrum since 2018, mainly covering football, men's basketball and softball. He currently works for The Buffalo News and has a daily article on buffalobills.com. Other responsibilities include managing the office fish tank.