ANNAPOLIS, MD – The University at Buffalo utilized a gutty
defensive effort to defeat Navy, 63-53, at Alumni Hall on Thursday
night. The Bulls held the Midshipmen to 30 percent shooting, forced
18 turnovers and blocked six shots to even their record to 1-1 on
the season. The win snapped Navy's nine-game home court
winning streak against non-conference opponents.
The Bulls had a balanced scoring effort led by Mitchell Watt who had 13 points and added six rebounds and a pair of blocks. Calvin Betts added 12 points, eight rebounds and a career-best four steals. John Boyer added 10 points and five rebounds.
Jawaan Alston was a spark early for the Bulls and had one of the finest games of his career. The junior forward just missed out on his first career double-double with nine points and a career-best 10 rebounds. With Titus Robinson on the bench in foul trouble, Alston played a career-high 31 minutes.
It was a back-and-forth affair for much of the first half before a Rodney Pierce jumper with 6:05 left in the stanza gave the Bulls the lead for good at 17-16. The Bulls built their lead to seven points before settling for a four-point advantage at the break.
Navy threatened in the second half and cut the lead to 44-43 with 9:32 remaining. However, Watt scored the next five points for the Bulls and UB extended its lead to 51-46 with 6:11 left. Betts hit an off-balanced jumper as the shot clock expired to extend the UB lead to nine with 2:18 remaining.
Max Boudreau had eight points and seven of UB's 46 rebounds. "We rebounded well and we held them to one shot," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "It was sort of a sloppy game, but I thought defensively and rebounding we did a good job. We managed to get enough second shots to sustain the lead."
Buffalo will remain in Maryland and play at Towson on Saturday afternoon.