Dave DeLuca/The Record
Throughout Tuesday’s SUNYAC matchup, the SUNY Buffalo State Men’s basketball team was showing grit, but they never led.
The Bengals would go on runs and cut the deficit never letting the Geneseo Knights pull away, but it wasn’t enough as Buffalo State dropped an 82-74 decision.
Early on, Bengals’ senior Mike Henry got into some foul trouble, which led to him spending a lot of the game on the bench. Henry, who leads the team averaging about 31 minutes per game, played only 24 minutes. As a result, he never found a nice groove and ended up with only 11 points, well below his average.
Knights forward Tommy Eastman had only six points in the first half, but he turned it on in second.
Eastman exploded for 17 points in the second, ending the game with 23. Eastman went 10 for 15 from the field, including 3 for 6 from behind the arc.
Buffalo State senior Malik Turner and freshman Sheldon Adams did what they could on the offensive side of the ball. When it seemed like Geneseo was going to go on a huge run, Turner and Adams’ play helped the Bengals cut deficits, often times, down to one.
But the play of Eastman, combined with the play of Zack Panebianco and Kevin Crockett was just too much down the stretch and Geneseo handed Buffalo State their 7th straight loss.
“Yeah, it’s frustrating,” Bengals coach Fajri Ansari said of never having a lead. “We just didn’t execute down the stretch, even when we kept cutting their lead down. We just rushed and that’s what I expect with a young team.”
There are five games are left on the schedule for the 6-13 Bengals. Buffalo State’s 2-11 record in the SUNYAC places them in the penultimate spot.
The Bengals will play their final two homes game of the regular season this weekend. The New Paltz Hawks (6-13, 3-9 conference) will be in town on Friday at 7:30 p.m. while the Oneonta Red Dragons (11-8, 7-5 conference) will be in Buffalo on Saturday at 3 p.m.