BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo men's basketball team
fell in its season opener to Vermont, 58-57, at Alumni Arena on
Sunday night. It was a rough shooting night for the Bulls who
converted only 31 percent of their shots from the field.
Despite the poor shooting, the Bulls used intense defensive play to stay in the game. Vermont (1-1) held a 50-40 lead, its largest of the game, with 9:19 remaining. A reverse layup by Mitchell Watt capped a 10-2 scoring run to cut the Catamounts' lead to 52-50 with 4:46 left in the game.
Vermont rebuilt a five-point lead with 3:13 left before the Bulls rattled off five unanswered points. John Boyer bounced a backdoor pass to Calvin Betts for the game-tying layup with 41 seconds remaining. However, Marqus Blakely's free throw, with nine seconds left, was the difference in the game as Buffalo committed a turnover on its next possession to end the game.
Buffalo (0-1) was led by sophomores Titus Robinson and Watt. Robinson registered his first career double-double with career highs of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Watt had nine points and added a career-high five blocked shots.
Max Boudreau added seven points in only 10 minutes of action. Boyer tied a career-high with six assists and a pair of steals.
Vermont was led by Blakely. The two-time America East Player of the Year had 17 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
"We weren't very good offensively. We took some rushed shots and that got us completely out of sorts," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "We turned the ball over too many times in the first half. They played well enough to win, so credit to them."
Buffalo will next play at Navy on Thursday night.