#UBTop10: The top-10 moments in UB Athletics over the past few weeks
10. Football practices under Leipold for the first time
Wednesday afternoon was the first spring practice for Buffalo football, and the first practice under new head coach Lance Leipold. Leipold experienced tremendous success at the Division-III level as he led University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to a 106-6 record over eight seasons. He won five national championships in six appearances. Wednesday was the first of 15 before practices before the Blue-White game on April 18.
9. Men’s soccer goes 4-0 in first-ever United Kingdom tour
The Bulls traveled to England to play four spring training games and won each match. Buffalo defeated Hayes & Yeading, U21 Barnet FC, Stoke City U21 and FirstPoint USA. Junior midfielder Russell Cicerone, Buffalo’s leading scorer last season, had five goals and four assists over the four games.
8. Wrestler Jake Gunning to attend USAW World Cup Training Camp
Freshman Jake Gunning will attend the USA Wrestling World Cup Training Camp from March 29 to Aug. 6. The 285-pound wrestler went 28-8 in his first season in Buffalo and is expected to assume a large role in the starting lineup next season.
7. Men’s swimming and diving places third at MAC Championship
Buffalo edged out Southern Illinois by two points to claim third place at the MAC Championship March 7. Southern Illinois came in second place in the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, and would have placed over Buffalo in the conference if it had won that race. Sophomore Scott Huang, freshman Oliver Patrouch and junior Antonio Lanzi were named to the All-MAC Second-Team. It is Huang’s second time receiving the honor.
6. Morgan and Jones earn All-American honors
Junior Mike Morgan and senior Jonathan Jones both won bronze at the NCAA Indoor Championship and earned First-Team All-American honors. Morgan, a multi-event competitor in hurdles and the pole vault, earned 5,995 points – setting a MAC record and ranking him No. 12 in the world. Jones set a MAC shot-put record with a 20.59-meter toss and became Buffalo’s first five-time All-American. He was 52 centimeters away from a gold medal.
5. Women’s basketball makes first National Invitational Tournament appearance
The women’s basketball team went 19-12 this season, earning its first invite to the WNIT. This was Buffalo’s second appearance in any postseason tournament. The Bulls lost to Ohio, 63-55, in the semifinals of the MAC Tournament. West Virginia defeated the Bulls, 84-61, in the first round of the WNIT.
4. Men’s basketball coach Bobby Hurley finalist for Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year
Buffalo’s first-ever MAC Championship and first NCAA Tournament appearance helped head coach Bobby Hurley become one of the 16 finalists for the Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year award. The award recognizes the nation’s top Mid-Major coach. Hurley accumulated 42 wins in his first two seasons – more than any other coach in Bulls history in his first two years.
3. Justin Moss named MAC Player of the Year
Justin Moss took 21 out of 27 first-place votes to be named the MAC Player of the Year. The junior forward led the conference in points and rebounds per game with 17.6 and 9.1, respectively. Moss was also named to the First-Team All-MAC, a finalist for the Lou Henson award for the best Mid-Major player of the year and a finalist for the Karl Malone Award, which is given to the top power forward in the nation.
2. Bulls make “March Madness” for the first time in program history
The Bulls fell to West Virginia, 68-62, in the second round of their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. Buffalo overcame a 10-point deficit from halftime to tie the game at 62 with 2:41 remaining. The Mountaineers responded with a 3-pointer and three free throws to win the game by six. The Bulls finished their season tying the school record in wins (23).
1. Men’s basketball wins first conference championship
Buffalo won its first MAC title when it defeated Central Michigan, 89-84. Sophomore point guard Shannon Evans and senior forward Xavier Ford led the team with 18 points each. Ford was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, averaging 17.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and one steal over the two games in Cleveland, Ohio. The victory clinched a No. 12 seed in the Bulls’ first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Bobby McIntosh is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org