The UT men’s basketball team hosted the 25th ranked Buffalo Bulls Feb.15. The Rockets narrowly lost the contest 88-82.
The game was played in front of the highest attended crowd since the 2008-2009 season.
It was the second contest of the season between the two clubs. The first contest went to the Bulls, 110-80.
In front of a roaring Savage Arena crowd, the Rockets bolted out of the gate to a 17-4 start aided by a 10-0 run.
This early lead quickly evaporated for the Rockets after the Bulls slowly inched their way back into the contest. The Rockets scored 17 points within the first seven minutes of the contest, but managed only 22 in the remaining 13 minutes of the first half.
This, accompanied by Buffalo’s play, took the Rockets; 13-point lead down to three at the half, 39-36.
The Rockets began to play with the same intensity they had at the beginning of the first half by pushing their lead back up to eight.
CJ Massinburg and Nick Perkins led the charge for the Bulls down the stretch and powered past Jaelan Sanford, Marreon Jackson and the Rockets. Sanford paced the Rockets all night with 24 points; Jackson chipped in 20.
The Bulls closed out the game en route to an 88-82 win. The Rockets fell to 17-1 on the season when holding opponents below 45 percent shooting from the floor.
Overall, the Rockets dropped to 20-5 and 8-4 in the MAC season.
Sanford remained optimistic for a potential third game against the Bulls in the MAC tournament.
“We’ll see them again,” he said. “We’ll get another crack at them.”
The Rockets enter the last stretch of their schedule hosting Northern Illinois 6 p.m., Feb. 23 at Savage Arena.