Bulls Fall to Iona in CIT Quarterfinals
NEW ROCHELLE, NY – The season came to an end for the University at Buffalo men's basketball team as the Bulls fell to Iona, 78-63, at the Hynes Center in the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsiders.com Postseason Tournament on Tuesday night.
Javon McCrea scored a career-high 29 points on 13-of-16 shooting and added 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. He broke the school record for points scored in a season by a freshman with 400 – surpassing the previous mark of 374 set by Jim Horne back in 1952.
Buffalo finishes the season with a record of 20-14. It is just the Bulls' third 20-win season in school history - all coming in the past seven years under head coach Reggie Witherspoon.
Trailing by five at the half, the Bulls hung with the Gaels until midway through the second half when Iona started to heat up from downtown. The Gaels hit three straight three-pointers to extend a five-point advantage to 14 and put Iona up, 67-53, with 5:06 remaining. Iona finished with 11 three-pointers in the game.
Iona played a high-pressure defense, forcing the Bulls into 20 turnovers. The Gaels were able to convert those turnovers into 28 points.
The postseason definitely benefited UB's freshmen as a trio of first-year players really blossomed down the stretch. Along with McCrea's great game, Auraum Nuiriankh tallied a career-high seven points in 14 minutes and Jarod Oldham played a career-high 28 minutes and had a point, four rebounds, an assist and a pair of steals.
"Iona shot the ball extremely well – especially from three," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "I thought our guys played really hard, but our decision making wasn't good. You can't defend turnovers. When we made errors, they made us pay."