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UB's Caruthers and Perkins earn individual MAC Honors

BUFFALO -- The University at Buffalo men's basketball team earned a pair of individual postseason honors on Tuesday morning as redshirt sophomore Dontay Caruthers was named the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year, while sophomore Nick Perkins was named the league's Sixth Man of the Year.

In his first year with the Bulls, Caruthers had one of the best defensive seasons in school history.  Often given the assignment of the top offensive guard on the opposing team, Caruthers routinely shut down his competition.  Caruthers is eighth nationally in steal percentage and he led the Mid-American Conference in steals per game in league games.  His steal total is one shy of 10th place in school history and he has the most steals by a Buffalo player in a single season since 2010-11.  Caruthers becomes the first UB player to be named MAC Defensive Player of the Year.

"Dontay learned early this season that the best way for him to see the floor was to be a great defensive player," said head coach Nate Oats.  "He has really taken to that role and our team feeds off his energy on the defensive end.  Dontay's offense picked up as the year progressed and his defensive intensity is a huge reason for that."

Perkins came off the bench in 14 of the last 15 games this season as he averaged 12.4 points and a team-high 6.6 rebounds.  Off the bench, Perkins had a stretch of eight straight game in double figures, including 21 points in wins over Western Michigan and Ball State.  He added 20 points off the bench at Miami and had a pair of double-doubles in MAC play, including 11 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Northern Illinois.  Perkins is the second UB player to be named Sixth Man of the Year and the first since Mark Bortz in 2005.

"Nick was a great teammate and really unselfish in accepting his role of coming off the bench for the majority of conference play this year," said Oats. "He was able to give us a big offensive lift and a huge rebounding threat off the bench and I anticipate this honor catapulting him to bigger and better things in the future."

The Bulls open MAC Tournament play on Thursday night in the quarterfinals when Buffalo, the #3 seed, takes on #6 Kent State. Tipoff is approximately 9 p.m.

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