Nick Perkins led the No. 21 Buffalo Bulls with 22 points off the bench in an 85-81 win over the San Francisco Dons on Saturday in the championship game of the Hall of Fame Belfast Classic in Belfast, Ireland.
The Bulls (7-0) handed the Dons (7-1) their first loss of the season, putting an end to their best start in 37 years. The Dons started the 1981-82 season 10-0.
Perkins, a 6-foot-8 senior forward, made 10 of 20 shots and also had five rebounds and two blocks. Jeremy Harris and C.J. Massinburg each scored 15 for the Bulls and Harris added eight rebounds, tied for the team lead.
Perkins had 11 points in the first half as the Bulls jumped out to a 41-35 lead.
The Dons fought back in the second half, tying it at 53-all on a layup by Jamaree Bouyea with 11:23 to play.
A pair of 3-pointers by Montell McRae gave the Bulls a six-point lead at 69-63 with just over five minutes remaining. McRae finished with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 3-for-3 from the outside.
After another Bouyea layup brought the Dons within four just a minute later, Perkins answered with a layup on the other end.
The Dons stayed alive, going on a 7-2 run to trail by just two with under a minute to play, but a layup by Harris and two free throws from Massinburg pushed the lead back to six.
Jordan Ratinho made a free throw and then scored on his own miss on the second free throw to give the Dons one last chance, but Massinburg added three more free throws in the final nine seconds left to seal the game.
Point guard Frankie Ferrari led the Dons with 19 points, Matt McCarthy had 17, Ratinho had 14, Charles Minlend finished with 13 points and Bouyea had 11.
—Field Level Media