Regan’s career night lifts Buffalo past Niagara

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BUFFALO, NY – Will Regan scored a career-high 26 points and the University at Buffalo men’s basketball team never trailed in a 77-67 win over Niagara at Alumni Arena on Saturday night.

Regan shot 8-of-11 from the field, 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. The sophomore forward also added a career-best eight rebounds in the victory.

Jarod Oldham had 18 points and seven assists and Tony Watson added 14 points, including four three-pointers.

An Xavier Ford free throw broke and 18-all tie to give the Bulls the lead for good. The game was close throughout the first half as the Bulls held a 30-28 lead with 1:49 left. But the Bulls closed the stanza on a 7-0 scoring run to take a 37-28 into the locker room at halftime.

Buffalo (4-7) built its lead to 11 points early in the second half before the Purple Eagles battled back. Niagara whittled the UB lead to 56-54 with 10:18 left, before two Watson three-pointers silenced the threat and put the Bulls ahead, 62-56, with 7:41 left.

With UB leading by five, Regan drained a pivotal three-pointer from the corner to extend the UB advantage to eight with 3:20 left. The Bulls made 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

A game after scoring a career-high 31 points, Javon McCrea was held to without a field goal for just the second time in his career. He finished with just three points, but added four rebounds and three blocked shots in 21 minutes.

Defensively, the Bulls held Niagara to just 36 percent shooting from the field. The Bulls were uncharacteristically outrebounded, 39-32.

“If we were going to go in and start off and say we were going to get outrebounded and get zero field goals from Javon, you’d probably say it was going to be a long, long night,” head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. “But I think the guys hung together and we defended pretty well.”

Buffalo will now take a break for finals and next play at Washington State on Dec. 21.

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