The Buffalo Bulls struggled in a 94-80 loss to South Dakota State on Wednesday at the Cayman Islands Classic. A big first-half deficit proved to be insurmountable in the game.
Buffalo’s offense started off sluggish on the day, making way for the Jackrabbits to capitalize and build an 18-5 advantage. Without Davonta Jordan, the Bulls’ day would’ve been over in the early going. The UB sophomore piled on two three-pointers and a layup to keep the Bulls in the hunt, as the deficit trimmed to 22-15.
Although UB’s offense shook off the rust, good opportunities in the interior never panned out in the first half. Meanwhile, the Bulls failed to execute on defense, especially in the perimeter. The Jackrabbits finished the first half 7-15 from beyond the arc and went to the locker room with a daunting 46-24 lead.
The Bulls’ offense was hot out of the gate to begin the second half. After the Bulls and the Jackrabbits traded baskets back and forth, UB finally got a break. Dontay Caruthers shut down SDSU’s top scoring threat in Mike Daum and the Bulls clawed back into the game.
With just over seven minutes left, Buffalo had cut the gap to five points to make it a game again. But, the Jackrabbits finally broke through and scored efficiently like they did in the first half. With three and a half to go, South Dakota State was already ahead by 14 points.
Nick Perkins lead the Bulls in scoring despite having four fouls for a large chunk of the second half. He had 17 on the day but only three rebounds in total.
Davonta Jordan and Dontay Caruthers had 16 and 13 points respectively. Jordan nailed four three-pointers when it was all said and done. Jeremy Harris and CJ Massinburg put up 11 and 10 points each to round out Bulls in double figures.
Overall, the Bulls shot just 41% on the day and were heavily out-rebounded at 37-28.
Buffalo will now head back to Western New York for a week off from action. They’ll drive up to Niagara on Wednesday to play against the Purple Eagles.