After allowing over 70 points in three straight games, the Bulls began Wednesday’s game strong defensively, allowing just 21 points in the first half. However, UB struggled to score early on and trailed midway through the first period, 13-12, before the offense hit another gear. UB went on a 17-2 run, which was ignited by three straight three pointers from junior Jarryn Skeete, putting the Bulls ahead 29-15.
The Huskies pulled back within 12 with just under four minutes left in the opening half, but the Bulls ended the stanza on an 11-2 run, capped off with a put-back layup from junior Justin Moss as the first half came to a close. UB took a 42-21 lead into the break.
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UB continued to run the floor as a fast break dunk from sophomore Shannon Evans gave the Bulls their largest lead of the game at 77-50 with 4:53 remaining. The Huskies pulled within 16 late in the game, but a three-point play gave the Bulls the 82-63 win.
"I am excited about the energy we had on defense in the first half, and we had great balance with a lot of guys contributing and playing well," said head coach Bobby Hurley, who picked up his 30th career win tonight. "I thought Jarryn provided a great spark to get our offense going because we weren't playing great offense over the first seven minutes, and he got that going."
Moss led the Bulls with 18 points while adding two assists, two blocks and three steals. Skeete finished with 14 points, while Evans had 13 points, four assists and four steals. Bearden added 11 points and six assists.
Wigginton came off the bench after starting the last five games and continued to give great minutes. He finished with 12 points, six rebounds and three steals in 24 minutes. Senior Xavier Ford added six points and eight rebounds off the bench, while fellow senior Will Regan had four points and three blocked shots.
UB got also got solid minutes off the bench from junior Raheem Johnson, who had four points and four rebounds in 18 minutes of action.
The Bulls finished the night with a season-low six turnovers, while forcing NIU into 16 turnovers, 13 of those coming from UB steals. The 13 steals by the Bulls were a season-best, as were the nine blocked shots.
The Huskies were led by 21 points from Anthony Johnson and 16 points from Aaric Armstead.
Buffalo will remain home on Saturday afternoon as it faces Miami (OH) for the second time this season. The game will be part of a doubleheader with the UB women. Northern Illinois is at Eastern Michigan Saturday (Noon, ET).
(Courtesy of UB Athletics)