Men's Basketball Falls to New York University at NYU Holiday Classic

Men's Basketball Falls to New York University at NYU Holiday Classic

MANHATTAN, N.Y. -- Junior forward Evan Kupferberg (Boca Raton, Fla.) recorded a double-double with 20 points and a game-high 14 rebounds to lead the New York University men's basketball team to a 78-73 victory over visiting Bridgewater State University at the NYU Holiday Classic on Saturday. 

The Violets (7-2) went 2-0 at the weekend classic to extend their winning streak to six games.  The Bears (6-4) finished 1-1 over the weekend as they snapped a four-game winning streak.

Junior center Costis Gontikas (Athens, Greece) added 12 points and six rebounds for the hosts, while junior guard Max Ralby (Boca Raton, Fla.) chipped in with ten points on 4 of 5 shooting including 2-for-2 from three-point range. 

Senior forward Kyle Gibson (Franklin, Mass.) paced Bridgewater State as he led all scorers with 24 points.  Gibson was 8-for-10 from the floor and a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line. 

Senior forward Michael Lofton (Mansfield, Mass.) posted a double-double with 14 points and a team-best 11 rebounds with four coming on the offensive glass.  Lofton also added four assists and three steals.

Senior guard Justin Clark (Yarmouth Port, Mass.) was the only other Bear in double-figure scoring as he finished with 11 points on 3 of 10 shooting from behind the arc.

Kupferberg and Gontikas were both selected to the All-Holiday Classic Team for the Violets, while Gibson and Lofton each earned the honor for the Bears.

The first ten minutes of the contest featured five ties and a pair of lead changes.  A Patrick Burns layup at the 10:52 mark gave the Violets an 18-17 lead.  NYU would never trail again.

A Burns dunk 50 seconds into the second half gave the Violets their biggest lead of the game at 47-36. The advantage, however, would be in single digits the rest of the way.

Trailing 72-66, a Clark trifecta with just under four minutes remaining pulled the Bears to within three (72-69). A pair of free throws by Gontikas was answered by a Lofton layup as the clock ticked under two minutes with NYU holding a 74-71 lead.

Following a big blocked shot by Lofton, the Bears had a chance to tie the game, but Gibson's three-point attempt was off the mark. Ralby would ice the game moments later as he buried a three-pointer with just 36 seconds left to play to give the Violets a 77-71 lead.

NYU held the advantage in total rebounds (39-28), offensive rebounds (17-11), points in the paint (52-36) and second chance points (24-10). The Violets shot 54% (31-57) from the floor and 36% (5-14) from behind arc, but converted just 11 of 19 (58%) free throw attempts.

BSU was terrific at the free throw line going 14-for-16 at the charity stripe.  The Bears, however, struggled with their long-distance shooting connecting on just 5 of 23 (22%) three-point attempts.

Bridgewater State returns to action on Tuesday evening as the Bears entertain non-conference foe Bowdoin College at six.

Notes: With his 14 points, Lofton moved past Roland Millien (1,160 pts.) into 20th place on the Bears' all-time scoring list.  Lofton now has 1,165 points in four seasons at Bridgewater State.