BUFFALO, NY – The Nate Oats era officially began with a win on Friday evening as the Buffalo Bulls defeated Pitt-Bradford, 109-49, in front of 3,112 at Alumni Arena. The 60-point victory for the Bulls was their largest in 46 years.
The Bulls didn't allow the Panthers to score for the first eight minutes of the game, opening the night on a 26-0 run, which included 10 points from freshman CJ Massinburg in the game-opening run. The Bulls continued to lead and were up 37-12 with 6:55 left in the opening half when UB ended the first 20 minutes on a 22-2 run, taking a 59-14 lead into the half.
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A jumper from sophomore Lamonte Bearden with 6:31 left in the contest pushed the UB lead over 60 for the first time in the game, and the Bulls took their largest lead of the contest with 3:07 left when a layup from freshman Nick Perkins gave UB a 106-40 advantage.
"I thought this was good for us coming off the exhibition," said first-year head coach Nate Oats, who became the first coach to win his first game as UB head coach since 1993-94. "I told the guys that I knew we could play poorly and win this game, but I didn't want to see that. We had some things we needed to clean up, and I thought we did that tonight, especially in the turnover department."
Senior Rodell Wigginton led the Bulls with a career-high 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting, while adding 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals.
Junior Blake Hamilton scored 21 points in his UB regular season debut, while adding seven rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals. Wigginton and Hamilton became the first UB duo to score 20 points in the same game since Ohio last season.
Massinburg had 19 points and four rebounds, while Bearden finished with 13 points and a game-high four assists. Perkins finished with 12 points and five rebounds and junior Willie Conner had 10 points and four steals in 22 minutes.
Making his first appearance after being cleared by the NCAA, Nikola Rakicevic finished with two points and seven rebounds. Redshirt freshman Ikenna Smart added two points and five rebounds before fouling out.
The Bulls also saw action from Christian Pino, who had an assist and a block, and freshman Zac DiSalvo, who finished with an assist and two offensive boards in four minutes.
The 109 points scored by the Bulls are eighth most in school history and the most since 2011-12, while the 40 made field goals are tied for eighth all-time and the most since 1997-98.
UB will now begin a four-game road trip as part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, beginning on Monday night at Old Dominion. Game time is set for 7:00 pm.
(Courtesy of UB Athletics)