BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team allowed just 13 second half points on Thursday night, defeating Nazareth in its home opener, 85-38. The 38 points allowed by the Bulls are their fewest in a game since February 1, 1979.
The Bulls got a total team effort as they improved to 2-1 on the season. All 11 players who saw action for the team found the scoring column and both sophomore Nick Perkins and senior Blake Hamilton hit different career highs.
Nazareth took its only lead of the game early at 8-7 and Buffalo led by just two at 15-13 when UB went on a 13-0 run, capped off on a steal and fast break layup from freshman Davonta Jordan. Buffalo was shooting it well from downtown in the first half as it hit three triples during the run. The Bulls led by as many as 18 points in the first half and took a 41-25 lead into the break.
UB came out in the second half and turned up the defensive intensity as Nazareth shot just 16.7% from the floor in the second half and just 1-of-8 from three-point range. In all, the Bulls outscored Nazareth in the second half, 44-13.
It started with a 16-4 run over the first six minutes of the half and then with the Bulls leading 57-33, they went on a 22-2 run as a layup from Willie Conner gave Buffalo a 79-35 lead with 4:13 left. Nazareth responded by hitting a three with 3:51 remaining, but it would be the final points of the night for the Golden Flyers as UB scored the last six points, including a pair from junior Christian Pino.
Perkins led the Bulls with a career-high 21 points, the second 20-point game of his career, and the first since last year's NCAA Tournament game against Miami (FL). Perkins went 8-of-11 from the floor, while adding eight rebounds, four blocks, an assist and a steal.
Hamilton dished out a career-best 11 assists, while he also added eight points, five rebounds, two blocks and three steals. Conner finished the night with 15 points, while freshman Quate McKinzie had nine points going a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc. Sophomore Ikenna Smart added nine points and seven rebounds.
Senior David Kadiri finished with six points and seven rebounds and James Jones added five points. Dontay Caruthers and Davonta Jordan each finished with four points, while they added five and four assists, respectively.
Pino played the final four minutes and had two points, while also recording his first two career rebounds. Nikola Rackicevic also added two points.
Tonight's game for Nazareth was an exhibition, but the Golden Flyers were led by 10 points from Brendan Wind.
The Bulls will now begin a season-long six-game road trip starting next Wednesday night in the Great Alaska Shootout. Buffalo will face the host Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves with an 11:00 pm EST tipoff. The game will air nationally on CBS Sports Network.