UNCASVILLE, CT – The University at Buffalo, The State University of New York men's basketball team placed five players in double figures in scoring as the Bulls defeated North Carolina A&T, 86-68, in the Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Looking to snap a two-game losing streak, the Bulls saw their opponent get out to an early 13-6 lead. The Aggies continued to lead 23-16 with 10:28 left in the opening half when the Bulls went on a 13-0 run and never looked back. The run was capped off on a three pointer from senior Jarryn Skeete, one of a career-high six treys on the night from the senior. A pair of free throws from junior Blake Hamilton gave the Bulls their largest lead of the half, 34-25, with 1:57 left.
Skeete knocked down a pair of three pointers over the first minute and a half of the second half to take a 41-28 advantage. North Carolina A&T pulled back within 46-35 when UB went on a 15-3 run, taking its largest lead of the game at 61-38 following another triple by Skeete. The Aggies were able to cut the UB lead down to 14 on a number of different occasions, but a three-point play from freshman CJ Massinburg put the Bulls back up by 20, 86-66 with just 42 seconds left.
"The ball movement tonight was a lot better than it has been the last few games," said head coach Nate Oats. "It is a lot more fun to play when you move the ball and get open shots and I thought we did a really good job with that."
Senior Rodell Wigginton led the Bulls with 19 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high five assists. Wigginton had 13 of those points in the first half as well as seven first-half rebounds. Skeete finished with 18 points, just one shy of his career high, as he finished with a career-best six three pointers, including five in the second half.
Massinburg had 17 points off the bench, including a 3-for-5 performance from three-point range, while sophomore Lamonte Bearden had 16 points, four rebounds and four assists. Hamilton added four points, six rebounds and four assists.
As a team, UB shot 40.6% from the floor, including 54.8% in the second half. The Bulls also went 24-of-32 from the free throw line and they outrebounded their opponent, 40-38. UB had 21 offensive rebounds, led by seven from Wigginton.
The Bulls will play in the Springfield Bracket Championship tomorrow night at 8:00 pm against Vermont, who defeated Niagara earlier today.