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Hardwood Report Card: UB Bulls take MAC East title

Men's basketball finished with a six-game winning streak

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The men’s basketball team (21-9, 12-6 Mid-American Conference) went 2-0 this week with victories over Ohio (10-19, 5-13 MAC) and Bowling Green (19-10, 11-7 MAC). The Bulls finished the regular season on a six-game winning streak and finished with a 77-75 victory over the Falcons on Friday, clinching their second Mid-American Conference East title in school history.

The Spectrum graded their performance.

Three-point shooting: A

The Bulls finished the two-game stretch with 44 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Junior guard Jarryn Skeete finished with four makes on the week, while freshman guard Lamonte Bearden finished with three 3-pointers in two games.

The two players that excelled from three this week were sophomore guard Shannon Evans and Senior forward Will Regan. Evans finished 7-of-11 from three, while Regan went 5-of-10 on the week, saving all of his attempts and makes for the Bowling Green game. Both Evans and Regan combined for five threes in the 15-1 run that allowed the Bulls to head into halftime of the Bowling Green game tied at 35.

Foul Shooting: B-

The Bulls had a good free throw shooting game and an average one. Against Ohio, the Bulls went 11-15 from the line. Junior forward Justin Moss led the team, going 4-for-6 from the stripe. Against Bowling Green, the Bulls had less success, going 16-28 from the free throw line, missing numerous free throws in the first half. Moss, once again, led the team with free throws, going 7-for-14.

Rebounding: B-

The Bulls grabbed 70 rebounds while opponents grabbed 71 rebounds. Against Ohio, it was Moss who led the Bulls, grabbing 17 rebounds. Junior guard Rodell Wigginton came off the bench and grabbed six rebounds. Against Bowling Green, the Bulls had a more balanced rebounding performance. Moss and senior forward Xavier Ford led the team with nine rebounds apiece, Regan grabbed eight boards, while Skeete and Wigginton both grabbed three.

Ball Control: A

The Bulls accumulated just 20 turnovers on the week, their opponents combined for 29 and the Bulls also tallied 20 steals. Skeete snagged four steals for the Bulls, while Moss led the way with six steals. Evans had a great week, racking up four steals and just four turnovers during the week.

Overall Offense: A

170 points on the week earns you an A. The Bulls did a good job of taking care of a down Ohio team, scoring 93 points. Moss finished with 22 points and Wigginton added 20 off the bench but it was Evans who stole the show. Evans finished with 16 points and 11 assists and only one turnover against Ohio.

Against Bowling Green, the best defensive team in the MAC, the Bulls scored 77 points. Buffalo finished with four scorers in double figures, led by Moss’ 19 points. Regan added 17 points and Evans tallied 14 points and nine assists.

Overall Defense: B

Against Ohio, the Bulls did a good job of pouncing on them, forcing 16 turnovers (getting 24 points on those 16 turnovers) and racking up 11 steals. The defense was great, forcing the Bobcats into bad decisions and the combination of Ford and Moss stopped them from finishing at the rim.

The Bowling Green game is what dropped the grade. Heading into the tournament, the two defensive issues for the Bulls are their inability to get a stop and their 3-point defense. Against The Falcons, the Bulls allowed 46 percent shooting from beyond the arc and allowed Bowling Green to tie the game up a handful of times before pulling out the victory.

Bench Production: B-

Against Ohio, Wigginton played an excellent game: 20 points, six rebounds, two assists and great defense. Regan chipped in with seven points and four rebounds. Both carried an otherwise lackluster performance by the bench.

The Bowling Green game saw just three players get off the bench, but all three provided solid contribution. Bearden got 10 points and a game-winning runner to get the Bulls the MAC East title. Wigginton had a monster dunk, a tough block and played great defense.

Junior forward Raheem Johnson battled foul trouble, but he was also solid defensively and contested for rebounds in his 10 minutes of game action.

Coaching: A

Hurley won the second MAC East title in school history and coached perfectly in the Bowling Green game. His management of fouls was key in the team’s success in the Bowling Green game. Moss had just two fouls early in the first half against the Falcons, but that didn’t stop Hurley from yanking him for Johnson. When Ford picked up two fouls, Hurley effectively juggled Ford, Moss and Johnson while keeping all three available late in the game.

email: sports@ubspectrum.com


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