CAYMAN ISLANDS – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team opened the extra period with a 9-2 run on Tuesday evening, defeating UAB, 96-91, in overtime in the second game of the Cayman Classic. The Bulls rode a career performance from junior Dontay Caruthers, who had 23 points as UB improved to 3-1 on the young season.
It was a game of runs for each team as both squads held leads of at least nine points. The Bulls led 27-19 following a James Reese three pointer midway through the first half when UAB ended the half on a 25-10 run to take a 44-37 lead into the break.
The Blazers went up by nine as they scored the first bucket of the second half, but the Bulls responded in a big way. UAB led 48-40 with 19:05 left when the Bulls went on a 25-5 run over a seven-minute stretch. The run was capped off on a pair of triples from Jeremy Harris. The Bulls continued to lead by 12 at 67-55 when it was UAB's turn to go on a run as the Blazers regained the lead with a 19-1 run, taking a 74-68 lead before a huge three-pointer from Caruthers ended the drought.
The Bulls answered that run with a 14-1 run as a three-pointer from CJ Massinburg gave the Bulls an 82-75 lead with just 1:31 remaining. However, UAB had one last run in it as it scored seven straight points over the final 90 seconds and two last looks at the basket for the Bulls fell short, sending the game into overtime.
In the game of runs, it was a 9-2 run for the Bulls to open the overtime period and UB never looked back. Sophomore Davonta Jordan opened the scoring with a driving layup and then the Bulls did the rest of the work from the free throw line where they scored their final 12 points on a 12-of-16 performance to ice the game.
"Our guys never quit tonight and we came away with a big overtime win over a great team in UAB," said head coach Nate Oats. "Our whole team did really well today, but I thought Dontay [Caruthers] and Davonta [Jordan] were outstanding."
Caruthers led the Bulls with a career high 23 points, going 8-of-11 from the field and 4-for-5 from three-point range. He also led the Bulls with seven rebounds, while adding three assists and a block. He was one of five UB players in double figures.
Harris had 17 points, including three triples, while going 4-of-6 from the free throw line. He also added five rebounds and four assists. Massinburg finished with 16 points, while junior Nick Perkins had 14 points and five rebounds, four of those on the offensive end.
Jordan finished with 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while recording six assists and just one turnover on the evening. Freshman Jayvon Graves fell just short of his first double figures performance with nine points, four rebounds, two assists, a block, and a steal. Reese added three points and Montell McRae had one point.
After recording just four assists and eight turnovers in the first half, the Bulls had 12 assists and just three turnovers in the second half and overtime.
As a team, the Bulls also recorded 14 three-pointers, tied for the third most in school history.
The Bulls will conclude play at the Cayman Classic tomorrow when they face South Dakota State in the 5th place game at 2:30 pm. The Jackrabbits defeated Iowa earlier today, 80-72.