A late rally with minutes to spare lifted UB over Towson University, 76-73, in the semifinal round of the Charleston Classic consolation bracket Friday night in Charleston, S.C.
Josh Mballa tipped in the go-ahead basket with 1:02 to play, and the Bulls got insurance baskets from Jayvon Graves and Ronaldo Segu. It was enough to close out the Tigers.
Graves led the team with 25 points. He was 8-of-19 from the paint and 4 of 6 from the free-throw line.
Mballa was 5 of 9 in field goals with 13 points. Segu had 11 points off the bench.
Towson was led by Brian Fobbs, who made 7 of 15 field goal attempts and went 7 of 9 from the free throw line for 22 points.
As a whole, UB only had a 36 percent field goal percentage. The Bulls shot 26 percent from the three-point line and 70 percent from the charity stripe.
It was a recurring problem as the offense went into several cold spots throughout the game. It allowed the Tigers to maintain a lead through most of the contest.
From 16:23 in the second period until 11:20, UB failed to score a point, which let Towson take a 50-43 lead.
The Bulls’ defense kept Towson from growing the lead beyond nine points. UB had 22 defensive rebounds, three blocks and six steals.
UB had a clear advantage when it came to turnovers. The Bulls forced 22 Towson turnovers which they turned into 26 points.
Two free throws from Segu tied the game with seven minutes to spare, but the Tigers managed to take the lead again.
Jeenathan Williams got UB within one point on a pair of free throws, and Mballa tipped in the winning basket shortly after a rebound.
UB will play Missouri State in the consolation bracket finals (fifth place) on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
The Bears defeated St. Joseph’s, 71-69, after Missouri State got two free throws with 43 seconds to play in its consolation semifinal game.