Buffalo runs by NIU in offensive showdown Print E-mail
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DEKALB, ILL Visiting Buffalo shot 55.7 percent from the field and overcame a game-high 27-point performance by Xavier Silas as the Bulls defeated Northern Illinois 95-83 Saturday at the Convocation Center.

The victory ended a three-game slide for Buffalo (11-7, 4-3 MAC), while Northern Illinois (8-11, 4-3 MAC) dropped a game behind Central Michigan in the MAC West standings.

The matchup featured two of the leagues top scorers in NIUs Silas (1) and Buffalos Rodney Pierce (4).

Silas, who entered the game leading conference-only scoring with a 23.5 ppg average, made 9 of 18 shots from the field and pulled down eight rebounds. He was one of three Huskies in double figures. Mike DiNunno had 15 and Sean Kowal added 12.

Pierce, meanwhile, pretty much hit his MAC average (17.3 ppg) with 17 markers, but the Bulls put five players in double figures. Sean Smile netted 13 points off the bench, while John Boyer and Mitchell Watt both contributed an even dozen. Calvin Betts chipped in 11 points.

Buffalo led 47-42 at intermission slowly pulled away through the first half of the second stanza. Smileys jumper gave the Bulls a 17-point cushion  (79-62) with 9:53 left..

A Silas layup at 4:31 cut the margin to 10 points (89-79), but neither team could score for more than two minutes. Boyer finally broke the ice at 2:18 with a trey from the top of the key as the shot clock was about to expire.

Each team hit two field goals the rest of the way.

Northern Illinois was consistent in both halves, connecting on just over 46 percent of its shots on both sides of intermission, but could not catch the visitors, who shot 55.7 percent for the game and 60.6 percent from the floor in the second half.

Although NIU entered the game leading the MAC in rebounding, Buffalo owned a 38-34 advantage on the boards.

Northern Illinois goes east this week as plays road games at Kent State (Monday ) and Akron (Wednesday) before hosting Miami Saturday.

Buffalo entertains Western Michigan Monday and then heads west for games at Central Michigan (Thursday) and Toledo (Saturday).

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