As New York Southern Tier opponents go, Cornell is tougher than Binghamton, but no match for UB at their best, and that's what we got today.
Kicking off 2015 immediately after the women's team opened MAC play with a loss to the Ohio Bobcats, the UB Men's Basketball team cooled Cornell down and ran away in the second half to a 92-73 victory.
One game after putting down the first triple-double in program history, Shannon Evans mixed it up, hitting a career-high 8 three-pointers on his way to 33 points. Two bombs from nearly the New York outline midway through the second half broke Cornell for good, and one a few minutes later bounced high off the rim before falling straight down.
Other than a few back-and-forth first minutes, the second half was all UB after an individual five-point run from Will Regan gave the Blue and White a 49-43 lead.
From a stats perspective, this game was won as UB refused to send Cornell to the foul line while also taking care of the ball: with 11 minutes to play, UB had only committed 3 turnovers. It was one of the faster games of the season for Buffalo, but Bobby Hurley stuck with his seven-man rotation as Jarryn Skeete remained out with an ankle injury. Cornell used 11 players and was still unable to keep up with the Bulls' fitness.
Despite that, Cornell was able to mount a serious threat early behind 6-11 three-point shooting, highlighted by 4-4 from Devin Cherry. At first frenetic, then a bit slow, the first stanza saw Cornell get high-percentage shots and spark a 13-0 run forced UB to play from behind for several tense minutes.
Buffalo, though, closed out the half with a display of their offense at its best, trading the lead late and taking a huge momentum boost into the half when Evans hit a fallaway three from just in front of the Cornell bench, putting UB up 41-39. At the break, many UB players had strong numbers, but even Evans' and Lamonte Bearden's matching lines of 11 points and 4 assists would pale in comparison to the second half barrage.
By the final buzzer, Evans had poured in a career-high 33 on a career-high 8 three-pointers, while Bearden pulled off a career high in assists and earned a points-assists double-double himself. Wigginton and Moss also hit double digits, as you'd expect from 92 team points.
The Bulls are no 9-3 and will start MAC play with two games on the road over the next week. First up? The Miami Redhawks at 7:00 PM on Wednesday.