Due to a Class B technical foul that was called on the Bulls prior to the start of the game, Niagara actually started the contest with a 1-0 lead before the opening tip. The Purple Eagles held on to the lead for the first three and a half minutes, but never had more than a one possession advantage. UB was down 5-2 when it went on a 9-0 run, capped off on a three-pointer from Jarryn Skeete. That gave the Bulls an 11-5 lead and they never looked back.
The Bulls came out of the break and absolutely dominated the second half, scoring a season-high 50 points, shooting 16-of-25 from the floor for 64.0 percent. The 50 points scored in the second half are the most points scored by UB in a half since scoring 50 in the first half vs. Mansfield on Nov. 24, 2012.
UB opened the second half on an 11-2 run as it took a 49-30 lead just under four minutes into the half. Niagara pulled within 16 points at 63-47 with 9:40 left, but the Bulls went on a 21-4 run over the next six and a half minutes. The highlight play in the run came on a behind the back pass from Evans to Justin Moss, who finished with a tomahawk slam. The 33-point lead by the Bulls was their largest lead of the season.
"We started off a little slow tonight, but we got great energy from our bench, especially from Xavier Ford," said head coach Bobby Hurley. "I was happy with the way we played in the second half and, overall, I am just extremely pleased with how we have started our season so far."
Moss picked up his third straight double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds, doing most of his damage in the second half, when he had 20 points and nine rebounds. Ford recorded his first career double-double as he finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds, with nine points and eight boards before the break. It was the first time that the Bulls had two players with a double-double in the same game since Feb. 23, 2013 vs. Manhattan.
Evans finished with 20 points and eight assists as he went 12-of-13 from the free throw line. It was the second straight game that Evans has recorded eight assists. Freshman Lamonte Bearden, who also had eight dimes on Tuesday night, added seven more against Niagra
Skeete finished with a season-high 17 points, two shy of his career-high as he was deadly from behind the arc again, going 5-for-8 from long distance. The five three pointers were a career high for Skeete.
After recording a season-high 19 assists on Tuesday, UB did one better, finishing with 20 assists on 27 made baskets. UB also finished with season-highs in free throws made (27), free throws attempted (36) and blocked shots (8). The Bulls tied their season-high with 48 rebounds, out-rebounding the Purple Eagles, 48-27 on the night.
Niagara (1-7) was led by 15 points from Emile Blackman and 14 points off the bench from Wesley Myers. Friday’s game was UB's final against Big 4 opponents as the Bulls went 2-1, with victories over the Purple Eagles and Canisius.
The Bulls will travel to Madison, WI on Sunday, Dec. 28 as they face #5 Wisconsin. The start time is still TBA, but the game will air on the Big Ten Network.
Courtesy of UB Athletics/MRO Edit)