Amherst, NY (WGR 550) -- The UB Bulls opened the men’s college basketball season with a 57-53 loss to the Princeton Tigers, despite a big second half by Javon McCrea.
Both teams started slow in the opening half, with the first basket going down 2:30 into the game. Ian Hummer scored the first two baskets for Princeton, and accounted for 3 of the team’s 9 made shots in the first half. Tony Watson opened the scoring for UB with a basket at the 12:08 mark of the first. Watson led the Bulls in scoring with 7 points in the half.
The Bulls shot just 31.6% in the first, going 6-19 from the field. The defense held Princeton to 9 field goals and just 1 three pointer (1-13) in the half. However, UB committed 11 turnovers, while the Tigers limited their mistakes to 7 turnovers in the half. They also outrebounded the Bulls 19-17, pulling down 8 offensive rebounds to lead the way.
McCrea opened the second half by hitting a basket and giving the Bulls their first lead of the game. The team quickly followed up with another score for a 25-22 lead just over a minute into the second. Princeton regained the lead, 37-35, midway through the half, and the two teams traded the lead the next few possessions. Princeton took control of the game, but Will Regan’s three pointer with about eight minutes to go in the half brought the Bulls within four points, 44-40.
McCrea finished the game with 22 points, all coming in the second half but it was not enough. The forward missed a key free throw that would have tied the game at 54-apiece. Instead, the Bulls trailed 54-53 with under a minute to go. Will Barrett connected on a three-pointer to seal game for the visitors.
The Bulls head to Florida State on Monday for their next contest.