UB men's basketball (1-1) bounced back Monday night and won its first game of the regular season against the Nazareth Golden Flyers (1-1) 109-72.
The game started close, with the Bulls up 21-20 after eight minutes, but it was all Buffalo from there.
Nazareth’s Division-III program struggled to keep up with Buffalo in all areas. The Golden Flyers gave up 19 turnovers which UB converted for 34 points. The Bulls stayed aggressive throughout, claiming 44 rebounds and drawing 18 fouls, making sure Nazareth stayed behind.
Buffalo’s 3-point shooting carried the team offensively as the Bulls hit 16-31 3-pointers — something they struggled with in their opener last Friday.
Sophomore guard Ronaldo Segu hit five of six threes for a career high 17 points, along with 6assists.
“I’ve been working on my shot. I’m just trying to add new pieces to my game to help my team out,” Segu said.
Junior guard Jayvon Graves also scored 17 points, as the two set the pace for the UB offense. Graves added 5 rebounds, 4 assists and was 5 for 5 from the free-throw line to round out a solid performance.
Despite putting up 109 points, the Bulls struggled from the line, hitting only 13 of 31 free throws. Head coach Jim Whitesell said he believes they will turn that around.
“It’s puzzling. In our two exhibition games, I think we hit 74%, it wasn’t an issue at all. But we'll work on it and clean it up.” said Whitesell.
Free throws were really the only area of concern in the strong performance. Graves said he believes this will help the Bulls continue after an opening-night loss.
“This game was something to build our confidence and I think we stepped up big time,” Graves said.
Whitesell said he made a lot of adjustments after the loss.
“After last game, we played way too tight. We talked to our guys about playing good defense, moving the ball and good shot selection. … We had a good-spirited practice, watched a lot of tape and we’re going to have to keep improving,” Whitesell said.
One of Whitesell’s biggest issues with his team’s opening game was how often players shared the ball. The Bulls turned it around and had 25 assists for the night after only 14 last game.
“I wanted to make sure we were playing unselfishly and I think our guys did that.”
The Bulls look to build off this win as they face Harvard (2-1) in Toronto, Canada on Saturday as part of the James Naismith Classic.
The sports desk can be reached at email@example.com
Myah Gonzalez is an asst. sports editor at The Spectrum.
Alex Lenneberg is an assistant sports editor for The Spectrum.