AMHERST, N.Y. — There was no comeback from a double-digit deficit for the Bowling Green State University men’s basketball team Friday at Buffalo.
While the Falcons managed to turn a 17-point halftime deficit into a three-point game early in the second half, BG never was able to complete the comeback and the Bulls earned a 95-82 victory in a Mid-American Conference contest at UB’s Alumni Arena.
Bowling Green State University's Justin Turner, shown in a road win at Eastern Michigan earlier this season, scored 23 points in the Falcons loss at Buffalo Friday.
Justin Turner had another strong offensive performance for Bowling Green (16-11, 7-7 MAC), finishing with 23 points. Springfield High School product Demajeo Wiggins posted a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds, and Derek Koch added 12 points and nine boards.
C.J. Massinburg finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds for Buffalo (20-7, 12-2), which claimed the East Division title with the victory. Nick Perkins scored 22 points, Jeremy Harris had 19 and Wes Clark 14 for the Bulls.
There were three ties and three lead changes in the game’s opening minutes before Bowling Green used a 9-2 run to take an 18-14 lead with 12 minutes, 29 seconds still to play.
But then the Bulls took charge, tying the game at 20 with 9:23 left in the half before using a 7-2 spurt to lead 27-22 with 6:52 remaining.
Then Buffalo, which made 8-of-14 from 3-point range in the first half, saw Harris, Massinburg, and Dontay Caruthers connected on 3s on three consecutive possessions to drop the Falcons into a 48-31 hole late in the half.
Bowling Green scored five straight points before UB’s Nick Perkins made a 3 to make it 51-36 at halftime.
The Bulls made 8-of-14 on 3s in the first half and were 12-of-20 from behind the arc for the game.
The Falcons appeared poised for another double-digit comeback, when they started the second half on an 11-1 run to cut their deficit to 54-51 with 13:56 still to play. But a 3 by Harris jump-started a 15-2 Buffalo response in the next four minutes.
That became a common theme in the second half: Bowling Green would make a run, and Harris would make a key basket to stop it.
When the Falcons used an 8-0 spurt that was capped by a Rodrick Caldwell three-point play to make it 75-70 with 6:09 left, Harris made a 3 as the Bulls scored the next seven points.
Then when Anthony Wayne graduate Matt Fox made two free throws to make the score 82-76 UB, Harris made a jumper in the lane and the Falcons never challenged again.
Bowling Green will return home to host Akron at 7 p.m Tuesday at the Stroh Center.
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