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Hardwood Report Card

Bulls defeat Miami Ohio on the road, fall for first time at Alumni Arena

Published: Saturday, February 15, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 16, 2014 15:02


Chad Cooper, The Spectrum

Junior forward Xavier Ford lays the ball up during the Bulls' 73-70 loss to Ohio on Saturday. Ford finished with nine points and three rebounds.

The men’s basketball team entered the most difficult part of its Mid-American Conference schedule this week, traveling to Miami Ohio (9-13, 5-6 MAC) on Wednesday night and hosting Ohio (18-7, 8-4 MAC) on Saturday afternoon.

The Bulls looked dominant at times in both games, defeating the RedHawks handily by a score of 75-62, but they fell 73-70 against Ohio – their first loss at Alumni Arena this season.

Three-point shooting: B

The Bulls were solid in their road contest against Miami Ohio, shooting 32 percent from beyond the arc, including four 3-pointers from senior guard Josh Freelove.

But the Bulls faltered from deep Saturday. They attempted six 3-pointers fewer than Wednesday (16 to 22) and shot only 25 percent from long range.

Foul shooting: B+

The Bulls didn’t miss many chances at the free throw line this week, missing just eight of 33 attempts. Senior guard Jarod Oldham hit seven of eight free throws between the two games.

Ball control: B

The Bulls were average against the RedHawks on Wednesday, assisting on 18 shots and turning the ball over 15 times.

But on Saturday afternoon, the Bulls were phenomenal at holding onto the ball. Buffalo assisted on 17 shots, led by Oldham who had six dimes, and turned the ball over just nine times.

Overall offense: B-

Wednesday’s game was impressive, as the Bulls handily defeated Miami Ohio on the road, where they have struggled at times this season. On Saturday, the offense showed flashes of brilliance as the Bulls went up by nine and 10 at different points.

But they were also stagnant, particularly during a 12-0 Ohio stretch. The Bulls went 0 for 9 from the field during that stretch, coughing up a 63-53 lead with 9:47 left.

McCrea was dominant offensively, grabbing eight offensive boards and scoring 25 and 18 points, respectively.

Rebounding: A-

The Bulls outrebounded both opponents and had more second-chance points than both opponents.

Against the Bobcats, Buffalo struggled at times to coral the ball, which showed in Ohio’s 12 second-chance points compared to the RedHawks’ two on Wednesday night.

Defense: A-

The Bulls did an outstanding job of forcing turnovers this past week, forcing 15 against Miami Ohio and 13 against Ohio.

They also turned those turnovers into points, scoring 24 points off turnovers on Wednesday and 11 on Saturday.

Bench production: B

The Bulls’ bench was mostly quiet on Wednesday night, with freshman guard Shannon Evans scoring just five points and the bench combining for 15.

In his third game back from injury, sophomore guard Jarryn Skeete scored five and six points off the bench, respectively.

Coaching: B+

Against Ball State on Wednesday, the Bulls could afford to be trigger-happy from the field because of McCrea’s dominant performance. The Bulls launched 22 threes and posted a 32 percent three-point field goal percentage.

On Saturday afternoon, there was little coaching going on down the stretch as the Bulls struggled. The Bulls had the ball with seven seconds left in the game trailing by three, but the play head coach Bobby Hurley drew up failed and the Bulls couldn’t get a shot off.



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