Late Scoring Drought Dooms Bulls Against Nevada

Late Scoring Drought Dooms Bulls Against Nevada

ANCHORAGE, AK – The Nevada Wolf Pack went on a 13-4 run over the final 8:38 on Friday night as they defeated the University at Buffalo men's basketball team, 67-62 in the semifinal round of the Great Alaska Shootout.  The Bulls went cold at the wrong time, missing 13 of their final 14 shots on the night.

For much of the evening the Bulls outplayed their counterparts from the Mountain West Conference as UB held edges in points in the paint, points off turnovers, second-chance points and fast-break points.  However, it was the disadvantage behind the arc that proved to be the difference as Nevada hit 11, compared to UB's four.

Nevada opened the game on a 15-6 run as the Wolf Pack took the nine-point lead seven minutes into the contest.  Nevada led 17-9 when UB answered with an 11-2 run, taking its first lead of the game.  A pair of free throws by Ikenna Smart gave the Bulls their largest lead of the first half at 27-23 and UB went on to take a 33-30 lead into the break.

Nevada tied it up early in the second half, but a pair of baskets from senior Raheem Johnson gave UB a 39-35 lead.  The second basket came on a steal from Davonta Jordan, who passed it to Johnson for a huge jam.  UB went on to take its largest lead of the night with 12:30 left on a layup from Smart and the Bulls continued to lead by five after a three pointer by Blake Hamilton put UB ahead 51-46 with 11:58 left.

The Bulls led 58-54 following a three pointer by Willie Conner with 8:38 left, but UB would hit just one more field goal the rest of the evening.  Nevada scored eight straight points to take a 62-58 lead before Buffalo hit a pair of free throws to pull back within two at 62-60.  From there, Nevada scored five straight to go ahead 67-60, but just two points would be scored between the two teams over the final 5:18 as Conner hit a layup with four minutes left and neither team scored again.

Hamilton finished the night with 14 points and eight rebounds, but he struggled from the field, shooting just 3-of-18.  Conner had 12 points, while Smart finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes.  Nick Perkins added nine points and nine rebounds.

Jordan had seven assists off the bench to tie his career high, including six of those in the first half.  Redshirt sophomore Dontay Caruthers finished the night with seven points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Johnson had six points and three rebounds off the bench, while senior David Kadiri added four points and four rebounds.

Nevada improved to 5-1 on the season as the Wolf Pack were led by 23 points from Marcus Marshall.

The Bulls will conclude action at the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday evening in the third place game, which will take place at 9:30 pm EST and 5:30 pm local time.  The Bulls will face the loser of the Iona-Weber State game.