Coming off of a tough 67-62 loss to Nevada, the Buffalo Bulls would be eliminated from their chance at taking home the Great Alaska Shootout Championship. As a result of the loss, Buffalo’s final game in Alaska was a 3rd place game versus Weber State. In a game mired by foul trouble and turnovers, Buffalo fought with grit to get a close 74-72 game.
Unlike their matchup with Nevada, Buffalo came out of the gate running in the first half. For the second consecutive game Ikenna Smart would tip-in a shot to give the Bulls their first points. From there, Nick Perkins gave a fiery performance, dropping two three-pointers and another jump shot. Soon enough, Weber State was forced to call a timeout because of Buffalo’s 15-3 lead to start the game.
One stat category would completely hamper the Bulls’s success coming into halftime: turnovers. Buffalo couldn’t hang onto the ball as they committed 12 turnovers before the first twenty minutes were up. Weber State soon went on a run and UB’s gigantic lead was now only a slim 30-26 margin.
Buffalo went into another offensive lull to start the second half. It would take 5 minutes of game time before the Bulls could make a field goal. Weber State took advantage and opened up a 7 point lead in the meantime.
In dangerous territory, Buffalo’s offense got rolling again. But, as soon as they caught up to Weber State, the Wildcats went on their own run again to go up 49-43. To add to UB’s problems, Buffalo had made it to the 20 foul mark with ten minutes left in the game.
UB found themselves in a dog fight late in the game as Weber State started committing sloppy turnovers and a bunch of offensive fouls. Nick Perkins, Willie Conner, and Blake Hamilton came alive late on successive possessions to put Buffalo up 69-68 with 36 seconds left.
Blake Hamilton drained a crucial three and even though Weber State answered, it was too late. With the game wrapped up UB was ready to win the game, but Dontay Caruthers fouled beyond the arc at the buzzer, giving the Wildcats a chance to tie the game.
With a chance at overtime on the line, Weber State caved under the pressure and missed their first free throw. Somehow, some way, Buffalo won this game.
And Weber State blew it.
The Bulls were lead by “Big Shot” Blake Hamilton’s 23 points and 8 rebounds. Nick Perkins and Willie Conner had 18 and 15 points respectively on the night.
Moving to 4-2 on the season, Buffalo stays on the road this upcoming week. Their next action resides in Omaha, Nebraska where they’ll take on nationally ranked Creighton on Tuesday. Tip-off is at 8:30PM and the game will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1.