Mason Leads Niagara to Big Four Win Over Buffalo

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

With the loss, the Bulls open the Bobby Hurley era at 0-2 and will be searching for their first win Saturday afternoon when they host West Virginia Wesleyan at 3pm.

It was Bobby Hurley's first big four hoops experience in Buffalo but the script did not go according to plan.

Despite a double-double by Javon McCrea, the Bulls couldn’t get the job done at the Gallagher Center as they fell to Niagara 92-81.

Buffalo struggled to contain the Purple Eagles athleticism and most notably, Antoine Mason.

The son of former NBA player Anthony Mason, Antoine played a huge role in the Niagara win with 25 points.

"He got to the foul line a lot. That was something we wanted to stop." UB guard Joshua Freelove said, "He just was aggressive. He drove us to the hole."

Beating the Bulls was a big deal for Mason who can finally say that his Purple Eagles took down Buffalo.

"It’s bragging rights. We haven't beat them since I've been here so I'm happy we got the W." Mason said afterwards.

The Purple Eagles had their way offensively against the Bulls, shooting 30-62 from the field as well as getting to the charity stripe 40 times (29-40).

Trailing by as many as 15 points in the first half, Buffalo did a good job at chipping away at the Niagara lead, cutting it all the way down to four when McCrea made a pair of free throws with 3:30 left to make the score 83-79 Purple Eagles.

"We didn’t get off to a good start" UB coach Bobby Hurley said afterwards "As the game progressed, I think we showed some fight."

That would be as close as the Bulls would get as Niagara took control of the game from there.

McCrea put up huge statistical numbers in the loss, recording a double-double with 31 points and 14 rebounds.

"I couldn't have thrown the ball to him enough today" Hurley said, "He delivered. He got to the free-throw line. He had the game we expect from him."

Joshua Freelove and Xavier Ford also contributed double-digit points, putting up 15 and 10 respectively.

Jarod Oldham struggled in the loss, scoring only six points while turning the ball over eight times paired with only three assists.

With the loss, the Bulls open the Bobby Hurley era at 0-2 and will be searching for their first win Saturday afternoon when they host West Virginia Wesleyan at 3pm.

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