The Buffalo Bulls opened up their season not too far from home at the Gallagher Center. A big four match-up against Chris Casey and his Eagles had the makings of a blowout for the two time defending MAC Champions. But led by 21 points from Matt Scott, the Eagles gave UB a close game until the Bulls managed to pull away in the final three minutes.
Buoyed by sloppy play which led to eleven first half turnovers, the Purps led UB for the first 21 minutes of the game. Early in the second half Ikenna Smart knotted the game up at 33 and then Blake Hamilton gave the Bulls their first lead. NU and the Bulls would tie the game again at 41.
The Bulls put together a run which gave them a 50-43 lead when freshman Dontay Caruthers fed Willie Conner a pass that Conner turned into a layup. Just two of twenty points Conner scored on the night.
Niagara roared back, taking a 58-57 lead at the 7:08 mark.
Conner gave the Bulls the lead for good at 3:08, when he buried a three point shot to put UB up 64-63.
Freshman Quate McKinzie was second in scoring for the Bulls. He led the game in bench scoring with 13 points on 7-9 shooting.
Next up is a game at #7 Xavier. Tip off is Monday at 7pm.