Victory over Marist opens men’s basketball season

Jaylen Amaker, Staff Writer

Opening up the season with a home game in Sojka Pavilion, the men’s basketball team captured a 75-72 victory against Marist on Nov. 14. The squad then traveled to Ann Arbor to take on No. 24 Michigan on Nov. 17, falling 77-53.

In their win against Marist, the Bison were led by five double-figure scorers. Dom Hoffman ’16 had 14 points and nine rebounds, John Azzinaro ’17 scored 13 points, D.J. MacLeay ’17 had 11 points, and Steven Kaspar ’15 tallied 10 points. J.C. Show ’18 contributed 12 points in his collegiate debut.

With the exception of Kaspar and Hoffman, the three other double-figure scorers came off the bench and contributed greatly. The bench totaled 38 points and outscored Marist’s bench by 33 points. The Orange and Blue dominated the boards as they held a 41-29 rebound advantage and 28-16 edge in points in the paint. Their effort led them to a 9-0 advantage in second chance points.

With seven minutes left to play in the game, the Bison trailed 58-54, but a quick 10-0 run gave the Bison the lead, starting with MacLeay’s three-point play. Followed by a defensive stop, MacLeay was able to break the tie with two free throws with 4:31 left to play.

The Red Foxes would climb their way back into the game, and with 26 seconds left they trailed 72-69. Three clutch free throws by Show and MacLeay pushed the score to 75-72 with a few seconds remaining, and Marist did not manage to get a shot up before time expired.

The Orange and Blue shot 41.7 percent from the field, including 7-20 from beyond the arc and 18-24 from the free throw line. The Bison also had 15 assists and seven turnovers on the night.

After the season-opening victory, the Bison took on Michigan in the Progressive Legends Classic game at the Crisler Center. The game marked the first-ever meeting between the two teams. Playing close to home, Michigan-native Chris Hass ’16 led the Bison with 21 points.

Despite a strong second-half effort, the Bison could not come back from an early deficit. The Wolverines ran to a 10-0 lead in the first 3:15. The Bison struggled greatly in the first half, shooting just 31.8 percent from the field and committing 12 turnovers.

Michigan got off to a hot shooting start, ending the first half 54.5 percent from the field with only two turnovers. The Wolverines dominated the boards early with seven offensive rebounds and 11 second-chance points. The Bison went into halftime trailing 48-19.

The Bison came back strong offensively in the second half, outscoring Michigan 34-29. Unfortunately, the first half deficit proved to be too steep. Hass was 7-14 from the field and 5-8 from three-point range.

Nana Foulland ’18, who has earned a starting spot, scored nine points and led the Bison with seven rebounds while shooting 80 percent from the field. Kaspar added seven points as well, but the Bison shot 39.6 percent from the field.

The Bison continued their busy week, travelling on Nov. 20 to take on No. 12 Villanova, coached by University alum Jay Wright ’83. The Bison will now return to Sojka Pavilion on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. to face Mount St. Mary’s.

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