ST. BONAVENTURE, NY - St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson hit a jump shot with 6.3 seconds remaining to snap a 72-all tie and spoil the Bulls' furious comeback at the Reilly Center on Saturday night. Buffalo trailed by 18 points with 11:36 remaining and managed to tie the game with 32 seconds left, but ultimately fell to the Bonnies, 76-74.
St. Bonaventure (4-2) led 72-59 with 5:53 remaining before UB mounted an 11-0 scoring run capped by a Dave Barnett driving layup with 1:46 left to cut the lead to 72-70. After Nicholson answered with a layup at the other end to extend the lead to 74-70, Byron Mulkey hit an acrobatic jumper in the lane to cut the lead to two with 59 seconds left.
Buffalo (4-3) forced a turnover on the ensuing Bonnies' possession giving the ball back to the Bulls. Mulkey, who has been clutch in late-game situations for the Bulls this season, came up big again with a driving layup with 32 seconds left to tie the game at 74. However, Nicholson drained a 17-foot jump shot to win it for the Bonnies. Following the shot, Buffalo brought it up the court with Mulkey taking a running jump shot with time running out that just missed and a put back from the Bulls also missed the mark.
The Bulls were able to chip away at the defecit thanks to solid ball control, turning the ball over just once in the second half while forcing the Bonnies into mistakes.
St. Bonaventure used torrid three-point shooting to build a 44-33 halftime lead. The Bonnies shot 8-for-11 from beyond the arc in the first half, including a perfect 5-for-5 effort from point guard Ogo Adegboye.
Mulkey played all 40 minutes and led UB with 21 points and added seven rebounds and three steals. Zach Filzen added 18 points, including four three-pointers. Titus Robinson also reached double-figures with 12 points and five boards. Jawaan Alston and Mitchell Watt added nine and eight points, respectively.
"I thought the second half we obviously did better not turning the basketball over and we got ourselves composed a little bit but they still shot it great," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "Give them credit, they did a great job of shooting the basketball. We didn't give up and we kept fighting through adverse situations and we didn't shoot it bad either, we just didn't shoot it well enough."
Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field in the game, with St. Bonaventure shooting almost 65 percent from beyond the three point line.
The road-weary Bulls will have a welcome homecoming this Wednesday against Niagara after splitting four straight road games, with the team looking to finish 2-1 against the Big Four this season. Tip off at Alumni Arena is set for 7 pm.