February 22, 2019 09:21 PM
AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) - Nick Perkins scored a career-high 27 points and No. 25 Buffalo won its 24th consecutive home game beating Kent State 80-57 on Friday night.
Perkins scored eight points in the final 1:15 of the first half as part of an electrifying 10-0 run in which Buffalo built a 35-27 lead. CJ Massinburg scored 18 for Buffalo (24-3, 12-2 Mid-American Conference) in matching No. 5 Tennessee for the nation's second-longest home winning streak and before the largest crowd in school history.
The announced attendance was 6,688. No. 9 Houston has won 32 straight home games.
Buffalo moved into sole possession of first place in the East Division following Bowling Green's loss to Ohio. And the win also clinched the Bulls a bye into the quarterfinals of the MAC tournament next month as they can't finish lower than second in the East.
Antonio Williams scored 17 before fouling out to lead Kent State (19-8, 8-6), which lost consecutive games for the first time since a four-game losing streak in February 2018. Jaylin Walker scored 12 to up his career total to 1,692 and move into third place on the school list, ahead of Jimmy Hall (1,683).
Buffalo started slow while coming off a 114-67 rout of Ohio on Tuesday. The Bulls followed a game in which they set a school record by hitting 19 3-point baskets by missing their first eight against Kent State.
Trailing 27-25, Buffalo erupted to score 10 consecutive points - eight from Perkins - over the final 75 seconds of the first half in what was an electrifying eruption.
The run began with Perkins hitting a 3-point basket.
Following Anthony Roberts missing an outside jumper at the other end, Perkins grabbed the rebound to put back Davonta Jordan missing a 3-point attempt. After Walker turned over the inbounds pass, Massinburg missed a 3-point attempt, which Jayvon Graves put in with a thundering dunk to get the crowd on its feet with 16 seconds left.
The crowd was still standing when Jalen Avery committed an offensive foul, and the Bulls ran the floor with Jordan driving the baseline before feeding Perkins, who banked in a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
Graves then hit a pull-up 3-point basket on the transition after Akiean Frederick's turnover to put Buffalo up 40-29, and the Golden Flashes never got within single digits over the final 18:11.
SECOND- THIRD- FOURTH-CHANCE
The Golden Flashes were so worn down by Buffalo's relentless attack that they allowed the Bulls to rebound three consecutive misses before scoring.
Perkins missed from the outside. Then It was Jordan's turn followed by Jeremy Harris. Jordan corralled the final rebound and hit a layup while being fouled and then completing the three-point play to put Buffalo up 55-39 with 12:06 remaining.
Kent State: Walker is showing signs of slumping despite beginning the day ranked 23rd in the nation in averaging 21.8 points. He's now combined to score just 41 points while hitting just 9 of 41 from the field, including 2 of 15 from 3-point range.
Buffalo: Beginning to erase whatever doubts Bulls raised during a 2-2 stretch that ended with a 92-88 loss at Bowling Green. If the Bulls were unhappy by winning two last week and not moving in the rankings, they should expect some reward from the voters once the next poll comes out.
Kent State: Host Ohio on Tuesday.
Buffalo: Close three-game homestand against Akron on Tuesday.
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2/22/2019 9:10:03 PM (GMT -5:00)
Created: February 22, 2019 09:21 PM
(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)