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#UBtop-10: The top-10 moments in UB Athletics for the fall

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The fall 2015 semester for UB Athletics had many highs and lows.

The program took some steps toward its lofty goal of being “America’s next big-time college athletics brand,” while taking some steps back with departures in the process. These moments helped shape the landscape of the current state of UB Athletics, while progressing toward the future of the program.

The Spectrum ranked the top-10 moments in UB Athletics during the fall 2015 semester.

No. 10 – Justin Moss expelled from UB

Justin Moss, a forward on the men’s basketball team and the reigning Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, was expelled from UB right before the fall semester began.

Moss, a would-be senior, was caught stealing $650 from a South Lake Village apartment of two football players over the summer. Moss was a key piece to the Bulls’ MAC Championship run last season and would have added stability to a rebuilding lineup.

No. 9 – Joe Licata sets new UB records

Senior quarterback Joe Licata has been the face of UB football for the better part of three years, and the late-November matchup against Massachusetts would be his last time in a Buffalo uniform.

And even if he couldn’t lead the Bulls to a bowl game in his senior season, he did set records.

Licata is now UB’s all-time passing yards leader, passing Drew Willy during a matchup against Northern Illinois on Nov. 11. He finished his career with 76 touchdown passes and more than 9,000 career-passing yards. He ranks 13th in MAC history in passing yards and ninth in passing touchdowns.

No. 8 – Women’s basketball starts 6-0

For the first time since 2000, the women’s basketball team started its season 6-0.

Defense led the way for the first part of the season, knocking off opponents like Clemson and Central Florida earlier in the season.

The team’s RPI was as high as No. 26 in the nation as recent as a couple of weeks ago. Although the team has lost three games in a row, it still stands at a 6-3 record with MAC play rapidly approaching.

No. 7 – Danny White leaves for UCF, Allen Greene named new athletic director

After Athletic Director Danny White left for UCF, UB Athletics decided it was in its best interests to promote from within.

As a result, Allen Greene was named the new athletic director less than one week after White was introduced at his new gig. Greene, deputy director of athletics under White, will provide some stability for the department.

No. 6 – Men’s soccer reaches MAC Championship game

The men’s soccer team reached the MAC Finals, but lost to overwhelming favorite Akron, 1-0, for the title.

It was an impressive season for a team that had not accumulated a winning record in a few years. With the addition of new recruits, scintillating play from sophomore goalkeeper Joseph Kuta and MAC Player of the Year Russell Cicerone, Buffalo finished with a record of 8-7-4, 2-2-1 MAC, its best record under head coach Stu Riddle.

No. 5 – Men’s basketball plays Duke and Iowa State back-to-back

Considered the hardest road trip in the men’s basketball team’s history, the Bulls finished a back-to-back stretch against No. 4 Duke and No. 2 Iowa State this past Saturday and Monday, respectively.

Buffalo lost to the Blue Devils 82-59 on Saturday, and then lost to the Cyclones 84-63 on Monday night. It was the first time in program history that Buffalo played two teams ranked in the top-10 in consecutive games.

No. 4 – Football, volleyball plays Penn State

Penn State, widely considered a top-tier athletics program, hosted Buffalo in both volleyball and football.

In Blair Brown Lipsitz’s coaching debut for the volleyball team, she returned to her alma mater to face the No. 1 team in the country, but failed to pick up a set during the match.

On Sept. 12, the football team entered Happy Valley, but lost 27-14 in front of 90,000 fans.

No. 3 – Matt Weiser makes first-team All-MAC

Senior tight end Matt Weiser was Buffalo’s only first-team All-MAC selection this season after a dominating performance during the regular season.

The senior finished his final campaign in Buffalo with 63 receptions for 625 yards and three touchdowns. The receptions and receiving yards are both the most in a single-season for a Buffalo tight end.

He was also named a first-team academic All-American this season, the first award of its kind for Buffalo in its entire Division-I existence.

No. 2 – Leipold, Oats kick off respective eras with victories

The Lance Leipold and Nate Oats eras are now in full swing for the football and men’s basketball teams.

On Sept. 5, Leipold began his Buffalo tenure with a dominating 51-14 victory over Albany. Buffalo accumulated more than 450 yards of total offense to extend Leipold’s winning total to 110 games at the time.

On Nov. 13, the men’s basketball team defeated Division-III Pittsburgh at Bradford with a 109-49 victory, its first game without former head coach Bobby Hurley and star players Moss and Shannon Evans.

No. 1 – Russell Cicerone named MAC Player of the Year

The men’s soccer team would not have gotten as far as it did this season without its star playmaker in Cicerone.

The junior forward/midfielder had a record season for Buffalo, finishing his season with 11 goals, eight assists for 30 points. His goal and point totals were good enough to finish first in the conference, while his assist total was good enough for second in the MAC.

He was the first Bull since 1999 to finish a season with 30 points and the only player in Buffalo history to make it to the All-MAC first-team three different times in a career.

Jordan Grossman is the co-senior sports editor and can be reached at jordan.grossman@ubspectrum.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jordanmgrossman. 


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