Bulls blowout Huskies with 100-point effort

Then-first-year+guard+Tyler+Cochran+looks+to+get+the+edge+on+a+screen+Monday+during+NIU%27s+65-48+win+against+Longwood+University+at+the+Convocation+Center.

Jarrett Huff | Northern Star

Then-first-year guard Tyler Cochran looks to get the edge on a screen Monday during NIU’s 65-48 win against Longwood University at the Convocation Center.

Kyle Mathas

DeKALB — The men’s basketball team dropped another game Tuesday in its race for a bid in the Mid-American Conference tournament in March. 

The Huskies lost 102-74 to the University at Buffalo Bulls which is fifth place in the MAC standings right now. The Huskies struggled defensively, allowing over 100 points for the second time this season. The first time against senior forward Luka Garza and the University of Iowa Hawkeyes on the road in Iowa City. 

“We could not guard [Buffalo],” Head Coach Lamar Chapman said. “Their drives really hurt us and we didn’t do such a good job rebounding too.”  

The Huskies were led by sophomore guard Tyler Cochran with 26 points,three assists, a steal and a block. 

“[Cochran] has more to give and has all league talent and ability.” Chapman said. “I told him if in the next two years Tyler Cochran is not an all-league talent, that’s nobody’s fault but his.”

The Huskies also had contributions from junior guard Trendon Hankerson with 13 points and sophomore guard Kaleb Thornton with career-highs 10 points and seven assists. Junior guard Darius Beane only had five points in 13 minutes played due to leaving the game early after an apparent ankle injury. Also, junior forward Anthony Crump had to leave the game early with an injury to his quadricep.

“Beane has an ankle injury and is on crutches right now,” Chapman said. “For Crump, he has either a quad or a knee injury.”

Buffalo had four players score  double digits in the game. The leading scorer for the Bulls was junior forward Josh Mballa with21 points. Joining him with double-digit points in the game was junior forward Jeenathan Williams with 18 points, sophomore forward Laquill Hardnett with 16 points and senior guard Jayvon Graves with 13 points. Buffalo also out-rebounded the Huskies by 30, which made a big difference with the way the final score went. 

“They were just athletic and sent four or five guys to the glass which helped with their rebounding.” Chapman said. “Sometimes we got out of position on the cut out and they used their length to their advantage.”

After a couple big plays for Buffalo, the bench was so loud that it almost seemed like there was a crowd at the arena. The bench noise from Buffalo seemed to make a big difference in terms of giving the Bulls the momentum. 

“Every game you watch of Buffalo, their bench is unbelievable and super loud,” Chapman said. “It makes a big impact in these MAC games.”

The Huskies end their home stand with a game on the road against Eastern Michigan University 12 p.m. Saturday. The game will be played at the EMU Convocation Center in Ypsilanti, Michigan.and The game will be available on ESPN3.