PHILADELPHIA, PA – For the second straight contest, the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York men's basketball team was unable to overcome a slow first half, falling on Wednesday evening at St. Joseph's, 89-67. The loss drops the Bulls to 1-2 on the year.
The Bulls took the early 5-2 lead Wednesday night, but St. Joseph's went on a 19-0 run over an eight minute stretch and never looked back. UB threatened on a few occasions to get it back into single digits, but every time the Hawks had an answer. St. Joseph's led by as many as 20 in the opening half and UB went into the break trailing by 18.
St. Joseph's increased its lead to 54-33 in the second half before the Bulls went on an 11-2 run, which was capped off by a layup from junior Blake Hamilton, which forced SJU to call timeout. Out of the break, St. Joseph's scored seven straight points and built up a 19-point advantage. The Bulls were able to pull back within 14 one last time, but a late St. Joe's run gave it the 22-point victory.
Hamilton led the Bulls with 14 points, 10 of those coming in the second half. He added seven rebounds as well on the evening. Sophomore Lamonte Bearden added 13 points off the bench, while Willie Conner finished with 10.
Senior Rodell Wigginton finished with eight points and five rebounds, while Ikenna Smart and Jarryn Skeete each added six points. Skeete finished with a team-high four assists. Freshman Nick Perkins added five points and six rebounds off the bench.
UB was narrowly edged on the boards, 46-44, but the Bulls had 15 offensive rebounds. The Bulls also went 16-of-21 from the free throw line, including 11-of-12 in the second half.
After road contests at Old Dominion and St. Joseph's, the Bulls now head to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut for the remainder of the Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament. The Bulls will play North Carolina A&T on Saturday evening at 7:30 pm.