Bucknell falls at Northeastern, 82-64

Courtesy of BucknellBison.com

BOSTON, Mass. – Vasa Pusica scored 17 points to lead Northeastern to an 82-64 win over Bucknell on Tuesday night at Matthews Arena. Zach Thomas scored 15 points for the Bison, but not much went right for them in this one.

Northeastern (5-4) shot 53.2 percent for the game and 60.7 percent in the second half, and when the Huskies did miss, they parlayed eight offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points. After hitting 10 or more 3-pointers in seven of their first nine games, the Bison (4-6) attempted only 11 threes in this one and hit just two. They did have good success getting to the rim but just could not get enough stops to string together a run after the Huskies went up by double digits early in the second half. ­

Northeastern attempted 30 3-pointers, making eight, but the Huskies were 25-for-32 (.781) on shots inside the arc en route to their third straight win and a 4-0 start at home.

“It was a tough night,” said head coach Nathan Davis. “Our issue right now is inconsistency. We were poor defensively tonight, and it seemed to be something different every time down. Whether it was a bad close-out, or a late recovery, or a missed block-out, we just could not get enough stops. You can’t sustain runs and come from behind if you don’t get stops. The good news is that we have seen our guys do all of those things, but it has to be every game and every practice.”

Four Bison scored in double figures. In addition to Thomas’ 15, Nana Foulland had 13 points, Nate Sestina 12 and Stephen Brown 11. Donnell Gresham, Anthony Green and Devon Begley all scored 11 points for Northeastern.

Leading 41-32 at the half, Northeastern came out of the locker room on a 9-2 run, capped by a Green 3-point play, to push the margin all the way up to 16 at 50-34.

Foulland scored four points in an 8-2 run that helped Bucknell get back within 11 at 61-50, but two second-chance buckets and a pair of 3-point plays pushed the Huskies lead back to 17 at 71-54. They would go on to lead by as many as 21.

After an evenly played first 11 minutes, Northeastern made the first major run, outscoring Bucknell 10-2 over a two-minute span to go up 28-21. Brown’s 3-pointer, Bucknell’s only trey of the first half, started a 7-0 surge, but just as the Bison drew even, the Huskies scored eight in a row.

Gresham’s 3-pointer keyed the run. After Thomas scored inside to end a 3:13 scoreless drought, Begley canned Northeastern’s sixth trey of the period in 23 attempts to make it a nine-point game.

Bucknell will now have 11 days off for final exams before returning to action on Dec. 16 at VCU.

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