OXFORD, Ohio (AP) — CJ Massinburg shook off an injury and scored 20 points Friday night, leading No. 21 Buffalo to a 77-69 victory over Miami (Ohio) that clinched a share of the Mid-American Conference title.
The Bulls (26-3, 14-2) were denied a chance to win the regular-season championship outright when second-place Bowling Green beat Kent State 77-72 earlier Friday.
Buffalo opened the game with an 18-point run and never trailed while winning its seventh straight overall. Miami (15-14, 7-9) got the lead down to 70-67 with 2:30 left on Dalonte Brown’s free throws, but Dontay Caruthers’ three-point play blunted the comeback.
Bam Bowman led Miami with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The Bulls’ opening run featured a pair of 3s by Jayvon Graves. The Redhawks were still scoreless at the first media timeout, missing five shots and turning it over three times.
Nike Sibande led a 14-0 run that helped Miami cut it to 37-33 at halftime. Massinburg scored seven straight points as Buffalo rebuilt the lead to 15 points and withstood Miami’s closing surge.
The Bulls got a scare during their opening run when Massinburg, their leading scorer at 18.7 points per game, hurt his lower left leg on a reverse layup. He limped off but returned a few minutes later.
The Bulls are in position to remain ranked for the 17th straight week, extending their record for a MAC team.
Buffalo’s 26 regular-season wins are their most in school history. The Bulls set a school record with 27 wins overall last season, when they reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Miami: The RedHawks have alternated wins and losses in their last 10 games.
Buffalo plays at Ohio on Tuesday. The Bulls beat the Bobcats 114-67 on Feb. 19, their third 100-point game of the season.
Miami hosts Kent State on Tuesday. The RedHawks lost at Kent State 70-67 on Feb. 5.