UB Bulls accumulate 30 fouls in messy loss to Old Dominion

Buffalo’s record even at 1-1


Less than four days ago, the men’s basketball team cruised its way to a 60-point victory.

On Monday, it was on the other side of a blowout.

The Bulls (1-1) fell to Old Dominion (2-0) 77-58 at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia in their first game of the Hall of Fame Classic. The Bulls shot just 30 percent from the field and committed 30 fouls.

After defeating Division-III Pittsburgh at Bradford (0-1) 109-49 in his head-coaching debut Friday, head coach Nate Oats expressed displeasure in his team’s performance Monday and admitted it never got into a rhythm on either side of the ball.

“Thought they outplayed us, thought they played harder, the played smarter and we took a ton of bad contested shots early,” Oats said. “We never got in rhythm early and we couldn’t get in the flow.”

Buffalo was in foul trouble throughout the game.

Freshman forward Ikenna Smart picked up his first foul just nine seconds in and fouled out for the second straight game after playing only eight minutes. Sophomore guard Lamonte Bearden picked up three fouls in the first half and also fouled out.

While the fouls were a problem, Oats was more concerned with his team’s demeanor toward the referees after foul calls. He said his team needs to stop talking to the officials after calls they disagree with. If they don’t, the result will be sitting next to him on the bench.

The Bulls went into halftime down 37-20 and the second half was much of the same as the Monarchs rested on their lead. The Bulls would fail to come within 15 points of Old Dominion in the second half.

Oats said the Bulls knew Old Dominion guard Trey Freeman would be good going into the game, but the team wasn’t able to stop him. Freeman had a game-high 22 points, four rebounds and four assists and nine of Freeman’s 22 points came from the free-throw line.

Senior guard Jarryn Skeete led the team with 12 points, but shot just 4 of 14 from the field. Skeete, who shot 38 percent from beyond the arc last season, has shot just 3 of 13 from three-point range this season.

Junior forward Blake Hamilton scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds, while senior guard Rodell Wigginton finished with nine points, three rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Due to the foul trouble, the Bulls had 11 players enter the game.

Oats admitted inexperience may have been in a factor in the 77-58 loss.

“I think guys didn’t know when to shoot, but there is a ton of newcomers and we only had four players coming back from last year, one didn’t play in [senior forward Raheem Johnson],” Oats said. “We have to gel, but that’s not the biggest part of today’s loss. Effort and chemistry were a part of it.”

Johnson was suspended, along with sophomore guard Mory Diane, for his involvement in a summer dorm theft, but the senior has also been out with an injured ankle. It is undetermined whether or not he will play in Buffalo’s next game.

The Bulls continue their four straight road games as part of the Hall of Fame Classic on Wednesday. Buffalo travels to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to face St. Joseph’s (2-0) for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

Quentin Haynes is the co-senior spots editor and can be reached at quentin.haynes@ubspectrum.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Haynes_Spectrum.