A three pointer from Bearden put the Bulls ahead in the second half as UB eventually went ahead by four. Vermont regained the lead 40-38 with 13:44 left, but the Bulls answered with a 10-1 run to take a 48-41 lead. A three-pointer by junior Blake Hamilton increased the UB lead to 53-45, before Vermont went on 12-4 run and tied the game back up at 57-57 with 5:09 left.
Redshirt freshman Ikenna Smart answered with a pair of free throws, igniting a quick 6-0 run, which included a fast-break layup from Willie Conner and a jumper by Hamilton. Vermont was able to get no closer than five as UB hit its free throws down the stretch. The Bulls made 11 of 12 free throws over the final 2:13 of play.
"I thought we made some big improvements this week, starting after Monday where we didn't play so great at Old Dominion," said head coach Nate Oats. "The ball movement was a lot better tonight, the defensive energy was better, and our energy off the bench was a lot better. That is all we want to see, is each game us getting better and if we can do that, we will be in good shape come conference time."
Bearden led the Bulls with 20 points, the second 20-point game of his career. He went 6-of-14 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Bearden added four assists and two steals. Conner had a career-high 14 points, while Hamilton added 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Perkins had a career-high nine points off the bench, while adding five rebounds. Smart had five points and four rebounds. Skeete added six points, five boards and three assists, while Massinburg also added five points.
The Bulls went 21-of-26 from the free throw line and forced Vermont into 16 turnovers. Following the game, Skeete and Bearden were both named to the All-Tournament Team.
Having now completed a stretch of four games away from home in the last seven days, the Bulls will be off until Saturday when they host Canisius at Alumni Arena. Tipoff is at 2pm.
(Courtesy of UB Athletics)