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Iona ends UB's BracketBusters run

The BracketBusters run has come to an end for the University at Buffalo men's basketball team.

After winning two straight road games in the BracketBusters and holding a 4-0 record in the event matchups, the Bulls came up short Saturday, losing to Iona, 93-75.

Buffalo's only lead of the game was 2-0 as the Gaels (20-5) took a 45-34 halftime lead, thanks in large part to 15 first-half points by Steve Burtt. Kiril Wachsmann scored the first five points of the second half to push Iona's lead to 50-34.

Parnell Smith's basket cut the margin to 54-40 with 16:34 left, but Buffalo never got closer. The Gaels led by as much as 85-53 after Burtt converted two free throws with 6:46 to go.

The Bulls (16-10) struggled offensively, shooting just 36 percent from the field. They connected on 25 of their 70 shots and went 5 for 23 from three-point range.

Only Yassin Idbihi scored in double figures for UB, netting 13 points but going only 3 of 10 from the field, while connecting on seven of eight free throws. The junior center needs one point to reach 1,000 for his career.

Calvin Cage and Roderick Middleton each scored nine points off the bench for the Bulls, while Andrew Atman and Eric Moore each scored eight.

Buffalo held a 39-36 advantage in rebounding, including 21-6 on the offensive glass. Idbihi and Middleton each pulled in seven rebounds.

The Bulls struggled on defense, too. Iona hit 63 percent from the field and put five players in double figures. Burtt led the way with 27 points, including five three-pointers, while Wachsmann finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Burtt advanced to second place on Iona's all-time scoring list with 1,871 points, passing his coach, Jeff Ruland, and teammate Gary Springer's father, Gary Springer, who both had 1,855 points. Burtt is second at Iona to only his father, Steve Burtt (2,534).

The win gave Iona its first 20-win season since 2000-01. It was the Gaels' fourth straight win and gave them a sweep of Western New York teams, including two each over Canisius and Niagara.

The bright spot for the Bulls may have been the way they took care of the ball. In the previous six road games, UB averaged 24 turnovers. Saturday, the team committed 15.

The Bulls have lost six of their last seven games and dropped to 5-7 in road games.

UB will return to Mid-American Conference play at 7 Wednesday night at Ohio University.

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