JERSEY CITY, NJ - (UB Media Release) Sean Smiley drained a baseline jumper as time expired to lift the University at Buffalo men’s basketball team to a 77-75 overtime win over Saint Peter’s at the Yanitelli Center in an ESPNU Bracket Buster matchup on Saturday afternoon. It was the Bulls’ fifth straight win.
It was a wild back-and-forth affair. The Bulls trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half before cutting the Saint Peter’s lead to five at halftime. After falling behind 35-28 to open the second half, the Bulls mounted a 10-0 scoring run, capped by a Sean Smiley jumper to take a 38-35 lead.
John Boyer hit a driving layup to give the Bulls a 43-37 lead with 12:58 left. Saint Peter’s responded with a 7-0 run to take a 47-46 lead. It was then UB’s turn to make a run as the Bulls rattled off seven unanswered points to regain a 53-47 lead with seven minutes remaining.
The Bulls would continue to hold the lead and when Smiley broke free from the Peacocks’ press to hit an offbalanced layup, the Bulls took a 63-58 lead with 20 seconds remaining. However, Saint Peter’s hit a layup with 7.9 seconds left and then stole UB’s inbounds pass. Nick Leon drained a three-pointer with less than a second remaining to send the game into overtime.
The game remained tight for the entire overtime session with each team taking brief leads. A free throw by Smiley gave the Bulls a 75-73 lead with 1:03 left. A Ryan Bacon layup with 44 seconds remaining knotted the contest at 75. The Bulls gained possession with the shot clock turned off and played for the final shot. Boyer fed Robinson underneath the basket, but his layup attempt was blocked out of bounds. The Bulls had the ball with 2.4 seconds remaining. Boyer triggered the inbounds pass to Smiley in the corner who pumped faked, took two dribbles past the defender, and knocked down the baseline jumper as time expired. The senior guard was immediately mobbed and hoisted onto the shoulders of his teammates.
“It felt good right away,” Smiley said of his game-winning shot. “My eyes were on the basket and it took forever to get there, but it felt good coming off.”
Smiley finished with 14 points and was one of four Bulls to score in double-figures. Rodney Pierce led the way with 22 points and had three steals. Calvin Betts notched his sixth double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Robinson was very active around the glass and finished with 13 points and five rebounds. The sophomore forward provided one of the Bulls’ highlights of the day when he skyed over everyone on the floor to slam home a missed jumped shot.
Buffalo (16-9) had a season-high 13 steals and forced 23 turnovers. Boyer had a pair of steals to go along with a game-high eight assists.
Saint Peter’s (15-12) was led Nick Leon and Wesley Jenkins who scored 25 and 21 points, respectively.
It was the Bulls’ eighth road win of the season – setting a school record.
Buffalo will return to conference action on Wednesday night when it travels to Akron to take on the Zips.