Valiant Second-Half Effort Falls Short In 94-80 loss to South Dakota State

Valiant Second-Half Effort Falls Short In 94-80 loss to South Dakota State

CAYMAN ISLANDS - The University at Buffalo men's basketball team outscored South Dakota State 56-48 in the second half, but the Jackrabbits shot nearly 61% for the game as the Bulls fell, 94-80, in the final game of the Cayman Classic.  The Bulls will return to Western New York with a 3-2 record.

Playing its third game in three days, the Bulls looked a step slow defensively, as South Dakota State built a 22-point halftime lead.  The Bulls shot just 26.5% from the field during the first 20 minutes, while the Jackrabbits shot 58.6%.  South Dakota State led 46-24 at the break.

UB responded in the second half, scoring 56 points, its highest total in a half this season.  However, South Dakota State remained hot, as its shot 64.7% from the floor in the second half.

SDSU held on to a 57-38 lead with 12:58 left when the Bulls went on a 21-7 run, climbing all the way back to within five following a pair of free throws from junior Nick Perkins.  The Bulls got a big boost off the bench from Dontay Caruthers during the run, as well as buckets from Davonta Jordan and freshman James Reese, who converted an old-fashioned three-point play.

South Dakota State answered the UB run with a 19-5 run of its own, to regain the 17-point advantage.  The Bulls were unable to get any closer than 13 for the remainder of the game.

The Bulls had five players in double figures and all eight players who saw action found the scoring column. Perkins led the Bulls with 17 points, while Jordan added 16 points and Caruthers had 13 points and five assists.  Junior Jeremy Harris added 11 points and five assists.

Reese had a career-best seven points, while adding four rebounds in 16 minutes.  Montell McRae finished with four points and freshman Jayvon Graves had a pair of points.

The Bulls did finish the game with a positive assist to turnover ratio as the Bulls had 14 assists and just 11 turnovers.

With the Cayman Classic in the books, the Bulls will have a week off before they play their second Big 4 opponent of the year when they head to Niagara for their first true road game of the season next Wednesday, Nov. 29.