Immediate reactions: UB 80, Drexel 70

Drexel 32 38 — 70
UB 38 42 — 80

By Nick Veronica

How it happened: UB led most of the first half and seemed to be on the brink of pulling away nearly the entire night. The Bulls were finally able to maintain some separation late in the second half and led by 10 points or more from 6:59 remaining until the final 15 seconds. Justin Moss led the team with 16 points while five Bulls scored in double figures. Jarryn Skeete had 14, Xavier Ford and Rodell Wigginton had 12 and Lamonte Bearden had 11. Rebounds were 39-36 UB. Drexel’s Damion Lee led all players with 24 points.

What it means: UB goes to 6-2 for the first time since 2011-12 and Bobby Hurley picks up the 25th win of his head coaching career. Drexel drops to 2-7.

No place like home: Tuesday’s contest was UB’s first true home game since the season opener on Nov. 14, thanks to the snowstorm that caused a postponed of the Montana State game on Nov. 21. The Bulls went 4-2 on the extended road trip and are now 2-0 at Alumni Arena.

Dimes all around: Shannon Evans and Lamonte Bearden had eight assists each, which set a career high for Bearden and matched Evans’ career best.

Lee gets his points: Drexel’s Damion Lee entered the game averaging 20.3 points per game, good for 19th nationally. He finished with 24 points on 9-of-21 shooting Tuesday but scored many of his points late in the game when victory was out of reach. UB coach Bobby Hurley started with Jarryn Skeete on Lee and then switched to Wigginton midway through the first half. They limited Lee 2 of 10 from three-point range.

Ford strong in return: Junior forward Xavier Ford scored 12 points in 17 minutes in his first game back from a concussion. He suffered the injury in the Big 4 Doubleheader against Canisius in late November and missed the last two games. Ford also had six rebounds.

Game line: After writing Tuesday morning that the line was UB -9.5, it dropped to UB -7.5 by game time. UB covered.

Starters: UB – Lamonte Bearden, Shannon Evans, Jarryn Skeete, Will Regan, Justin Moss. Drexel – Tavon Allen, Rashann London, Damion Lee, Mohammed Bah, Rodney Williams.

Next: UB completes its Big 4 schedule with a home game against Niagara at 7 p.m. Friday.

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