BUFFALO (WBNG BINGHAMTON) Buffalo (5-4) shook off an early push from Binghamton (2-9) and pinned an 87-57 loss on the Bearcats in a rare men’s basketball game between the two SUNY Centers Monday afternoon at Alumni Arena.
Short four regulars, including its starting point guard, BU kept up early but ran out of steam against the bigger Bulls, who used a late 20-4 first-half run to take control. Buffalo then hit 6-of-8 to start the second half, stretching a 13-point halftime lead with a 16-3 run to open the final period.
Senior forward Javon McCrea led Buffalo with 25 points and 14 rebounds.
“They beat us up physically,” head coach Tommy Dempsey said. “They were stronger and we didn‘t do a good enough job on the glass. Our zone was good early and Buffalo wasn’t making shots. But then they started making shots and we didn’t have an answer for McCrea. The effort and togetherness was there today though. We’re still learning a lot about ourselves and the first half of the year has been a feeling-out process. I see a lot we can build on.”
Sophomore guard Jordan Reed raised his scoring average with a team-high 19 points. Freshman forward Nick Madray added 11 points and sophomore guard Karon Waller scored a career-high 11 points in his first action of the season. Freshman forward Magnus Richards chipped in a season-high eight rebounds and senior center Roland Brown offered seven second-half points.
In the first half, BU led 23-20 with 5:22 to play before the host Bulls ended the period with the 20-4 run to take a 40-27 lead into intermission. After missing 9-of-10 to start against BU’s zone, Buffalo shot 65 percent the rest of the way. Fourteen Bearcat fouls contributed to 13 host points from the charity stripe. Reed sat the first four minutes of the game but tallied 10 points in the first half. Madray scored five quick points before being relegated to the bench with three fouls. Three of BU’s starters accumulated three fouls in the first half.
Needing a strong start to the second half to keep contact, BU instead missed 5-of-6 and Buffalo scored six straight points in the first 1:33 to start another big run.
Hit by a rash of injuries, the Bearcats had nearly a third of their lineup unavailable. Particularly thin in the backcourt, BU played without starting point guard Yosef Yacob (9.7 ppg., 30 mpg.) and two other guards (Rayner Moquete and Robert Mansell) who were averaging 15+ minutes a game. Senior forward Alex Ogundadegbe suffered an injury in Sunday’s practice in Buffalo and was also unable to go.
Binghamton hosts Bryant at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Events Center.