On Nov. 10, the Bison men’s basketball team fell to the Vermont Catamounts by a final score of 66-63 in their season home-opener. Then on Nov. 13, the Bison earned their first home win of the season over Hofstra by a score of 86-71.
The Bison battled throughout the first half in a back-and-forth contest. The Orange and Blue took an early lead, starting on a 11-2 run after Kahliel Spear ’22 knocked down a baseline jumper. Vermont built momentum, claiming a 28-24 lead with under five minutes to play in the half. However, the Bison responded with another run of their own, gaining a 35-32 edge at the break.
The Bison extended the lead to eight points early in the second half after Andrew Funk ’22 scored a crucial 3-pointer. Despite that basket, neither team found much success from behind the arc, as they made a combined seven out of 47 3-point attempts for the game.
After falling behind again, the Orange and Blue fought to tie the game up at 57 with just under three minutes to go in the contest. Then down 62-59, Bruce Moore ’20 hit two free throws to cut the deficit to only one point, 62-61.
The Bison looked to take the lead with the shot clock turned off, but the following play found John Meeks ’21 with his heel on the sideline with 18 seconds to go, giving possession back to the Catamounts. After fouling to extend the game, the Orange and Blue missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer. Vermont sealed the game in the final seconds by sinking four free throws in a row.
Stat leaders for the game in points were Meeks and Moore with 16 apiece, followed by Jimmy Sotos ’21 with 12, and Funk with seven. Paul Newman ’21 also collected a career-high 11 rebounds.
The Bison shot the lights out from long range on their way to a decisive 86-71 win over Hofstra. The Bison shot 15 for 28 from 3-point range and played great defense, limiting the Pride to only 38 percent shooting.
Sotos led the Orange and Blue with 24 points, a new career high, and three assists. Meeks proved to be a spark plug for the Bison once again coming up with 14 points off the bench. Walter Ellis ’22 and Funk both knocked down four 3-pointers on their way to 12 points each. Spear was crucial on defense, blocking four shots. Meanwhile Newman played a big part on the boards, topping his career high from the previous game with 13 rebounds (including six offensive rebounds) to go along with his eight points.
“The team played exceptionally well last night. There are highs and lows in every game, but our guys fought through the adversity and got the job done. Guys on the bench came into the game ready with high energy, and that’s what you need to win these types of games,” Ben Robertson ’20 said.
The Bison will look to continue their hot shooting when they hit the road to play Canisius on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.