UB men's team fall to Texas Tech in NCAA Tournament

The Bulls' incredible season comes to an end on Sunday, falling to the Red Raiders in the Round of 32

Howard Simon
March 24, 2019 - 9:20 pm

Photo: Brett Rojo - USA TODAY Sports


The University at Buffalo men's basketball team ran into the best defensive team they faced all season, which brought an end to the greatest season in program history. The Bulls were eliminated in the Round of 32 in the NCAA tournament for the second straight year, falling to 3-seed Texas Tech 78-58. In this matchup of explosive offense against shutdown defense, the Red Raiders prevailed decisively.  

UB came into the game fourth in the nation averaging 85 points per-game, but Texas Tech boasted the nation's No. 3 scoring defense, giving up just 59 points per-game on the average. The Bulls missed its first five shots from the field and, as it turns out, that was an indication of what was to come. The 58 points were not only the lowest of the season for UB, it's their lowest point total since January 3, 2017 when they had only 54 in a loss at Toledo.

UB held the lead just once lead all game when they went up 25-24 on a Davonta Jordan three-point shot with 3:26 left in the first half; but those were the Bulls' final points of the opening 20 minutes. Texas Tech closed on a 9-0 run and then went on an 18-3 run to start the second half to blow the game open. A Jeremy Harris' bucket with 12:22 left was the Bulls' first made shot in just over 10 minutes of game action going back to the Jordan three-pointer.

The Bulls were never able to get their offense going due, in large part, to the Red Raiders defense. The Bulls were ice cold from three-point range and were unable to get their trademark transition game going. When UB tried to drive to the basket, their shots were contested or altered or tipped. Bulls players might see Red Raiders defenders in their sleep for the next few nights. Texas Tech also dominated the boards and were able to get a number of second or third chance points due to offensive rebounds.

Nick Perkins was the lone UB player who was able to have success on offense in the first half as he scored 11 of their 25 points. Perkins was able to score down low and shot 5-for-7. The rest of the team combined for 14 points and shot 4-for-18 from the field. The first made basket by a player other than Perkins came from Jordan with 10:20 left. Perkins ended up with 17 points and 10 rebounds in his final game wearing the blue and white.

Fellow senior CJ Massinburg added 14 points and will leave UB with the second-most career points in school history. Jordan added 13 points, while Harris struggled shooting, going 3-for-13 from the field and 1-for-8 from three-point range, finishing with just nine points.

As a team, the Bulls shot just 37-percent for the game and were out-rebounded by Texas Tech, 45-32. All five Red Raiders starters scored in double figures. Texas Tech advances to the Sweet 16, where they will face 2-seed Michigan.

In addition to Perkins, Massinburg and Harris, the other seniors who played their final game were Dontay Caruthers and Montell McRae. They will leave as the winningest group of seniors in UB basketball history. The Bulls finished the season with a 32-4 record.

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