BUFFALO, NY- Roderick Epps (Uniondale/Uniondale) netted a career-high 33 points, but it was not enough as Buffalo State (1-1) dropped its home-opener this evening, falling to Nazareth (3-1), 97-89, in a non-conference game at the Sports Arena.
Jake Simmons (Rochester/School of the Arts) added 22 points for Buffalo State, as he and Epps accounted for 62-percent of the Bengals' scoring. The next highest scorer for the Bengals was Maurice Miles (Buffalo/Hutch Tech) with six points off the bench.
The Ford brothers led the visiting Golden Flyers, combining for 44 points and 28 rebounds. Brad Ford had 25 points and 16 boards, while Mitch scored 19 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Four other Golden Flyers scored in double figures, led by Tyshun Stephens who had 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
Nazareth works its way to an eight-point lead with just over five minutes remaining in the first half, but the Bengals increased the intensity and closed the opening period on a 23-8 run and led 49-42 at the intermission. Buffalo State scored first in the second half, but the Golden Flyers quickly turned a nine-point deficit into an 11-point advantage before the halfway point of the second period. The Bengals cut the margin to two on two separate occasions, but Nazareth would not relinquish the lead and scored the final five points of the game to claim victory.
Nazareth shot 51-percent from the field and was 8 of 20 (40-percent) from 3-point range. The Golden Flyers also dominated the glass with a 51-31 rebounding advantage. Buffalo State shot 48-percent from the floor and was 9 of 30 (30-percent) from beyond the arc. The Bengal committed just seven turnovers, compared to 17 by Nazareth.
Buffalo State will host Medaille in another non-conference matchup on Tuesday at 7 p.m.