Men’s basketball competes in NIT Season Tip-Off

Sarah Hazard, Senior Writer

On Nov. 23, the Bison men’s basketball team traveled to Syracuse, N.Y. to take on the Syracuse Orange. Syracuse was dangerous on offense, shooting 56 percent and making 14 out of 29 3-pointers. Despite the Bison’s fight, they were unable to take a win home with them, concluding the game with a final score of 97-46. Bruce Moore ’20 scored 17 points on six for nine shooting in one of the team’s lone bright spots of the game.

The Orange and Blue then headed to Orlando, Fl. for the NIT Season Tip-Off to play two games against Seattle and Yale. The Bison were able to get back on track, defeating Seattle 77-70 on Nov. 25 in the semifinal in the first-ever meeting of the two teams. 

At halftime, the Bison trailed by six points; however, in the second half, they were able to pull ahead, outscoring the Redhawks 46-33. Seattle tied it up with 10 minutes to go, but Andrew Funk 22 helped the Bison pull ahead once again, assisting Moore for a layup, then scoring back-to-back layups with one minute of playtime left. 

Stat leaders for the game included Funk with 19 points, Avi Toomer 20 with 18, Moore with 18 and Sotos with 11. Funk, Toomer and Moore also led the way in rebounds with seven, followed by Paul Newman 21 with six. 

On Nov. 26, the Bison faced Yale in the finals of the NIT Season Tip-Off. The Orange and Blue started the game strong on the defensive end, but could not deliver down the stretch to find a lead. Yale, on the other hand, found their spark early, developing several runs to put them ahead. Sotos spoke to the games in Florida.

“If we defend and play together, we can be really good. But if we don’t then we won’t have a chance,” Sotos said. 

Sotos again was a stat leader in the matchup against Yale, scoring 14 points. Following him was Toomer and John Meeks 21 with 11 points, and Jake van der Heijden 23 with six points. Xander Rice 23 also scored his first collegiate three-pointer in the match. 

On Dec. 3, the Bison fell to Rider 89-69, despite taking several leads in the first half by as much as six points. The Bison cut the deficit to seven points in the second half, but could not complete the comeback. Moore scored a career-high 20 points in the road matchup.

The Bison now hold a 3-7 overall record. They will be take on Albany on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at Sojka Pavilion.

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