Photo: Kyle Terada - USA TODAY Sports

UB falls to Kentucky 95-75

The Bulls' season is over after their loss to the Wildcats

March 17, 2018 - 8:08 pm

Nick Lozanovski reporting:

The University at Buffalo's men's basketball season ended Saturday at the hands of the Kentucky Wildcats. The Bulls fall one game short of reaching the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history after their 95-75 loss to the Wildcats at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho.

The Bulls struggled with the length of the Wildcats, shooting only 26-of-67 from the field. Kentucky star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander dazzled for the wildcats, scoring 27 points and corraling eleven rebounds. Gilgeous-Alexander was exceptionally efficient with his scoring his 27 points on only 12 shot attempts. Hamidou Diallo was another standout for the Wildcats, as the freshman scored 22 points on 9-of-12 from the field. Wenyen Gabriel also had a strong game, scoring 16 points and hauling in eleven rebounds for the double-double.

The main problem for the Bulls in this game was shooting, especially from three-point range. U.B. shot 7-of-31 from behind the arc, after shooting 15-of-30 in Thursday's dismantling of Arizona. Jeremy Harris was held without a three-point basket for the first time since the Bulls' MAC opener against Toledo, going 0-for-5 from behind the arc.

While Harris struggled, Wes Clark had a standout collegiate finale, scoring 26 points on 9-of-19 shooting. Clark was also the chief distributor for the Bulls, with a game high six assists. C.J. Massinburg added 18 points for the Bulls, shooting 3-of-6 from the three-point line. Massinburg was a big part of a 9-0 run that pulled the Bulls to within four during the second half before Kentucky pulled away.

The game ended a historic season for U.B., which saw unprecedented success under head coach Nate Oats. Under the leadership of Oats, U.B. set a school record for wins with 27, and won the first NCAA Tournament game in program history. The Bulls are projected to be strong again next season, only losing one main contributor in Wes Clark.

Kentucky will play the winner of Kansas State and UMBC in the Sweet 16. Kansas State is led by Barry Brown, who led the Wildcats with 18 points and six rebounds in a 69-59 defeat of Creighton. The UMBC Retrievers are led by Jarius Lyles, who scored 28 points on 9-of-11 shooting against the top-seeded Virginia, who they beat to become the first 16-seed to defeat a one-seed in NCAA Tournament history.

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