Men’s basketball defeated the Medaille Mavericks, 105-54, in an exhibition contest Thursday night at Alumni Arena.
UB was originally slated to face Daemen, but Medaille replaced the Wildcats after Daemen’s men’s team announced a pause in team activities due to COVID-19 protocols (the pause didn’t impact UB’s women’s team, who took on the Daemen women’s team earlier in the day).
UB dominated its Division III opponent, especially in the paint. The Bulls’ size and inside presence proved to be too much for the Mavericks, as UB scored 56 points in the paint and attempted 31 free throws. Despite shooting 24% from three, the Bulls still managed to shoot 46% from the field.
Senior forwards Josh Mballa and Jeenathan Williams led all scorers with 19 points apiece, each shooting an efficient 8-11 from the field. Williams also grabbed five boards and dished four assists while Mballa snatched five rebounds but shot a concerning 2--6 from the free-throw line.
The Bulls outrebounded the Mavericks by 37, with redshirt sophomore center David Skogman and graduate student center Brock Bertram commanding the boards with 10 rebounds apiece. Graduate forward Tra’von Fagan contributed nine rebounds in just 14 minutes.
The blowout victory also featured multiple highlight plays, with Mballa hitting a seemingly impossible up-and-under and-one layup in the first half and freshmen Kidtrell Blocker and Kuluel Mading each throwing down thunderous dunks in the second half.
Head coach Jim Whitsell emptied his bench with the exception of junior forward LaQuill Hardnett and freshman forward Zaakir Williamson, who were both sidelined with injuries.
UB will open its regular season against No. 6 Michigan at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, MI Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The game will be aired on the Big Ten Network.
Anthony DeCicco is the Editor-in-Chief of The Spectrum. His words have appeared in outlets such as SLAM Magazine andSyracuse.com. In 2020, he was awarded First Prize for Sports Column Writing at the Society of Professional Journalists' Region 1 Mark of Excellence Awards. In his free time, he can be found watching ‘90s Knicks games and reading NFL Mock Drafts at 3 a.m.