February 28, 2010 - 12:42 AM
Game Analysis: UB needed this one big time to stay in the race for a first-round bye for the MAC Tournament. That possibility is still in play after the Bulls stunning 72-69 come-from-behind victory over Ohio. UB lost at Ohio, 99-77, back on Jan. 23, three days after Kent State blew out the Bulls, 89-54.
How UB Won: The Bulls played tough defense after the seven-minute mark of the second half when they were trailing by 10 points. Senior guard Rodney Pierce certainly turned up his play several notches, hit a pair of big three-points down the stretch including what proved to be the winner. But it was his steal in the closing seconds and John Boyer’s free throws that iced the game.
Turning Point: Ohio led 63-53 when Pierce blocked a shot by Kenneth Van Kempen. That led to a basket by Max Boudreau which ignited a run what saw the Bulls outscore the Bobcats 17-9 to end the game.
Player of the game: Pierce came up big with 26 points, five steals and four assists.
Co-player of the game: Boyer was 4 of 6 from three-point range and finished with 16 points on 5 of 9 shooting overall. He added seven assists, four steals and one turnover in 37 minutes.
Worth mentioning: Ohio’s D.J. Cooper had 12 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. Keep in mind he’s just a freshman.
Let’s hear it for the seniors: Before tip-off, UB honored seniors Calvin Betts, Max Boudreau, John Boyer, Adekambi Laleye, Rodney Pierce and Sean Smiley. Combined, this group accounted for 3,778 points, 1,826 rebounds and 742 assists over their careers. They also helped the Bulls earn a share of their first regular season conference championship and their second postseason appearance as a Division I program in 2009.
Oh Canada!: UB played the Canadian National Anthem for Boudreau and Laleye. Boudreau is from Montreal, while Laleye is from Ottawa.
The streak continues: UB has now won nine consecutive Senior Day games.
Stat of the Game: Ohio was a perfect 8 of 8 from the free-throw line.
He Said It: “”Pierce was the best player in the gym. He was terrific, absolutely terrific. I’m glad he’s done.’’ - Ohio coach John Groce on the fact that Pierce’s eligibility runs out after the season.
In the House: 2,321 at Alumni Arena
Next Up: UB plays its regular season finale at Miami (Ohio) at 7 p.m. on Thursday.