Men’s basketball (1-2, 0-0 MAC) defeated the Roberts Wesleyan Redhawks (1-2, 0-0 ECC) in a closely contested 89-83 match, breaking the season deadlock. The win marked the team’s first under head coach George Halcovage.
The game was littered with constant fouls from both teams. A total of 40 fouls were committed by the end of the match, with 25 by the Redhawks and 15 by the Bulls. The high foul count resulted in a litany of visits to the free throw line, which UB used to score 31 points and finish the game with a 77.5% free throw line average.
“As a team we got to the line 40 times,” Halcovage told The Spectrum after the game. “We took what the defense gave us, and we used our physicality.”
The Bulls jumped out to an early 7-2 lead, but were matched with a 6-0 run by Roberts Wesleyan as the two teams traded baskets. UB struggled with the Redhawks’ full-court press, which led to numerous turnovers and sloppy passes. After Roberts Wesleyan stopped the press, the Bulls went on a scoring run — exemplified by a three-pointer from freshman guard Ryan Sabol — to stretch the lead to 15 points.
UB strung together some defensive stops to start play in the second half with a 17-point lead when the Redhawks went back to the full-court press. Roberts Wesleyan desperately tried to whittle down the Bulls’ lead, making it a three-point game with 5:30 left to go. The Redhawks kept up with UB the rest of the half but the Bulls got timely dunks from fifth-year forward Sy Chatman and held on to clinch their first win of the season.
Chatman led the team with 19 points, and had a double-double with 12 rebounds. Senior center Jonnivius Smith also had a double-double, collecting 14 points and 16 rebounds with a game-leading 2 blocks. Sophomore guard Shawn Fulcher had 18 points and 5 assists, and all five UB starters scored double-digit point totals.
“As for the win, first win: it’s all about the players, so just glad that we were able to stay together and get it done,” Halcovage said.
The Bulls will next face Hofstra (1-2, 0-0 CAA) away on Monday at 7:30 p.m. The game can be streamed via Flosports.
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