BUFFALO, NY - For the second straight game, the University at Buffalo men's basketball team placed five players in double figures as the Bulls defeated the visiting Robert Morris Colonials, 81-66, at Alumni Arena. The Bulls outscored RMU, 43-28 in the second half. The victory improves UB to 2-2 on the season.
Robert Morris took the early lead in the contest as four straight free throws 10 minutes into the game gave the Colonials a 25-16 lead. However, the Bulls quickly erased the deficit by going on a 10-0 run. Included in the run was a Jarod Oldham three pointer, a fast-break dunk from senior Joshua Freelove and five free throws. The visiting Colonials retook a two-point advantage, 34-32, but the Bulls answered with six straight points before the teams entered the half tied at 38-38.
UB turned up its defensive intensity in the second half as Robert Morris shot just 34.6% over the final 20 minutes of action. The Bulls led by just one at 53-52 with 11 minutes left when a three pointer from freshman Shannon Evans sparked a 16-2 run, putting UB up 69-54 with 6:18 remaining. UB extended its lead to a game-high 20 points as a three-pointer from Jarryn Skeete gave the Bulls a 78-58 lead with 3:34 left. The Colonials were able to pull no closer than 15 through out the rest of the night.
"I thought it was a great team win," said head coach Bobby Hurley. "Having 10 days of practice gave us gave us an opportunity to work on some of the deficiencies that we had early in the season and we made a stronger commitment to rebounding and defending at a higher level and I think that showed tonight."
The Bulls placed five players in double figures led by senior Javon McCrea, who recorded his third straight double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds in 28 minutes. McCrea added five blocks and a steal. Skeete finished with a season-high 15 points as he went 4-of-8 from the field, including 3-of-5 from behind the arc.
Oldham had a tremendous night running the point as he finished with 13 points, a season-high seven assists, four rebounds and three steals. Freelove added 12 points, while junior Will Regan finished with 10 points and six boards. Regan did most of his damage from the free throw line, where he was 8-of-12.
The Bulls got all of their bench points from two players as Evans finished with a career-best seven points, adding four rebounds, three assists and a steal. Sophomore Justin Moss added six points and six rebounds.
For the first time since 2007, the Bulls have scored 80 points in three straight games. They also set early season highs for rebounds (45) and assists (15), as well as tying a season-low in turnovers with 12, including just four in the second half.
Robert Morris (3-4) placed four players in double figures, led by a game-high 19 points from Lucky Jones, who added eight rebounds. Jeremiah Worthem scored 13 points off the bench for the Colonials.
The Bulls remain home this Saturday afternoon when they host Delaware State at 2:00 pm. The first 500 people who show their football tickets from Friday afternoon will receive a $10 basketball ticket for Saturday's game.