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Which UB team will show up on the road?

---UB might be better than people think, but the Bulls have shown a distinct Jekyll-Hyde personality this young season.

---Luke Winn explains why TCU's move to the Big East won't help college basketball at all while Mike DeCourcy says that adding TCU won't change anything. Rick Bozich has an interesting take on the whole situation. It's more football-oriented, but isn't the TCU move football-oriented to begin with?

---The U.S. News and World Report issued a list of the top-10 colleges for college basketball fans.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

TCU goes East in a Big way

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---Plenty of reaction of TCU and Gary Patterson, pictured above, moving to the Big East. The Big East apparently is a better fit than the Big 12 and TCU is the heavy hitter they've been looking for. The league now has a stake in the fifth largest market in the country, but also creates the growing possibility the football schools may eventually feel a 17-team league is too unwiedly and break away and form their own all-sports league.

---For all the frustrations and road bumps in Auburn's storied but haunted history, with a win Saturday in the SEC title game, the Tigers will play for the national title.. But what if Auburn and Oregon both lose?

 

---Michigan AD Dave Brandon made it clear that he's not happy with the football team's performance this season, but he'll wait at least a month to decide whether or not to keep coach Rich Rodriguez.

---UConn's Randy Edsall, reportedly a candidate for the Minnesota job, said that other schools have not contacted him about openings.

---With the college football regular season all but finished, attention now turns to the bowls. For the Mid-American Conference, six teams reached the .500 mark to be bowl eligible, but it appears only three are in line for a telephone call.

---Here's a bunch of candidates for the opening at Miami.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

UB adds Canadian offensive lineman

UB, in dire need of offensive line help, received a verbal commitment from Canadian Gabriel Barbe. He is the Bulls 14th commitment with three months remaining for National Signing Day in February.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Women's hoops: Canisius vs. Towson

The Canisius women's basketball team is looking for back-to-back wins as they open a three-game homestand this afternoon hosting Towson in the Koessler Center.

The Golden Griffins are 1-2 after winning at Colgate last Saturday. Freshman forwrad Jen Lennox was the MAAC Rookie of the Week after averaging 10.5 points and five rebounds in a 1-1 week for the Griffs.

Towson is 2-2 coming off a win against another MAAC opponent -- Loyola (Md). The Tigers, who play in the Colonial Athletic Association, are led by senior guard Simona Petronyte who is averaging 11.5 points a game while junior guard Sheree Ledbetter is netting an average of 10.

Check back for updates throughout the game.

Starting lineups: Petronyte is not starting for Towson. She apparently was injured in practice. Canisius keeps the same starting five: Steph MacDonald, Ashley Durham, Micayla Drysdale, Jen Lennox and Courtney VandeBovenkamp.

First half:

15:06: It looks as if both teams are suffering from a bit of holiday haze to start the game. They combined for two air balls, six missed shots and two turnovers before a point was scored -- on a baseline drive by Steph MacDonald. The Griffs lead, 4-2, but Towson will be going to the free throw line out of the timeout.

11:10: The Griffs had trouble inbounding the ball on the baseline which allowed Towson some easy shots and a chance to take an 8-4 lead. But Canisius finally broke the press, got a fastbreak layup and traditional three-point play from Durham to take an 11-10 lead.

7:18: And we're still at 11-10, Canisius. Don't let the low score fool you, it's a physical and aggressive game but one that lacks crispness. Both teams are suffering from missed shots (including the easy ones) and the game is turning into a clinic in jump balls. Makes one wish we actually tossed up the ball instead of the alternate possession rule just for variety.

3:23: Sophomore guard Durham is making things happen for the Griffs, who lead 17-13. She hit a free throw, spotted MacDonald for a 3-pointer near the end of a shot clock and on the next possession threw up her own shot-clock beating jumper to be part of every Canisius scoring play in that segment. MacDonald drew a charge to cap off the segment in defensive style.

Halftime: Tied, 24-24. The Griffs led by as many as seven, 20-13, on a 3-pointer by Drysdale, but a young Canisius team remains inconsistent on both ends of the floor and continues to have problems inbounding the ball after a Towson make.

Second half:

15:57: Canisius leads, 30-29, but the Griffs are having problems with turnovers, fouls and rebounding to start the half. Towson has more of the momentum at the moment, and the ball coming out of the timeout.

11:38: Pick your problem for the Griffs: poor press break, lack of rebounding or fouling near the basket. All three have combined to make it a difficult half for the Griffs as Towson takes a 40-33 lead with the chance to complete a traditional 3-point play out of the time out.

6:31: Canisius plays its way back into the game with a 9-0 run. Fueled by drives to the basket by Durham, earning her trips to the free throw line, and 3-pointers from Drysdale and Durham the Griffs took a 42-41 lead. The teams are battling back and forth with Towson holding a 45-44 lead.

3:26: The Griffs lead, 48-45. They're still having trouble against the press and attacking the floor, but moving well once they get into their offense or on a break, before the Tigers can organize on defense.

Final: Canisius, 58-52. Canisius finds its pace at the end of the game and Durham scores 22 points. Jamie Ruttle added 11 points as the Griffs improved to 2-2.

--- Amy Moritz

UB-Akron game analysis

Game analysis: The Bulls managed to trim a 22-7 fourth-quarter Akron lead to eight points, but Jerry Davis’ fumble with just over a minute left was recovered by the Zips, who are no longer winless after beating the Bulls, 22-14.

How UB lost: Turnovers, penalties, special-teams breakdowns, spotty secondary play, yada, yada, yada.

Turning Point: After UB scored its first TD to make it 12-7, Akron’s Patrick Nicely hit Jalil Carter for a 42-yard pass to the UB 16, burning Sherrod Lott. The Zips scored three plays later and went up 19-7.

Player of the game: Struggling players seem to play well against the Bulls and that’s exactly what Nicely did (13 of 24, 193 yards, 3 TDs).

Stat of the game: The Bulls had seven penalties for 156 yards.

What the loss means: It means the season’s over.

In the house: 5,216 at InfoCision Stadium. If you believe that you’ll also believe people mistake me for Denzel Washington all the time.

He said it: “”Me personally, I’ll play with someone like Jerry Davis every day of my life.’’ – UB senior tailback Ike Nduka on QB Jerry Davis.

Next up: Season completed

---Rodney McKissic

UB-Akron game thread

Akron 22, UB 14, final: Who's winning the Alabama-Auburn game?

Yep, fumble: Akron is in victory formation. The Gatorade bath for Rob Ianello.

Another fumble?: Davis fumbles again and is recovered by Akron on the 41. The play is being reviewed by MAC officials which means they might consider this an incomplete pass.

Call reversed: Ruled an incomplete pass. UB's ball. MAC refs are college football's finest.

Fumble: Davis was stripped from behind and CB Anthony Holmes recovered on the Bulls 38. Play is under review.

Bulls recover onside kick: Allen touched the ball and the Bulls recovered. 1st and 10 from UB 38.

Bulls score!: TD pass from Davis to Neutz for the second time in the game. Bulls called for an illegal formation on the PAT when Jeffvon Gill ran onto the field after everyone was lined up. The second PAT was good. Akron 22, UB 14. Time for an onside kick.

Injury: CB Josh Thomas went down briefly but walked off the field.

Injury: LB Raphael Akobundu was helped off the field by trainers.

INT by Akron: I know we're in Ohio, but why are the Bulls making Akron look like Ohio State?

Akron 22, UB 7: Let me get this straight: Akron's Igor Ivelijic, who missed two PATs, nails a 39-yard FG?! The Zips are a team of destiny!

Injury: LB Justin Winters went down briefly and walked off the field.

Akron 19, UB 7, end of third quarter: The Bulls are 15 minutes away from losing to the only winless team in the FBS. A loss would complete a total nose dive from the championship season of 2008.

Akron 19, UB 7: Do the Bulls defenders ever turn around when the ball is thrown? Nicely throws a 15-yard pass over the head of John Syty to Gary Pride for a score. It was Pride's first career TD. First time for everything, I guess.

Broken record: Davonte Shannon is the school career leader in tackles. The senior safety reached the mark late in the second quarter and has five for the game.

Akron 12, UB 7: Davis throws a pretty pass in between defenders Kevin Davis and Manley Waller to a leaping Neutz for a 13-yard TD. It was the first time today that the Bulls reached the red zone.

Fumble recovery: Winters forced a fumble on Alex Allen and UB's Josh Thomas recovered on the Bulls 16-yard line.

Akron 12, UB 0, halftime: Alex Neutz hurt on the final play of the half.

Akron 12, UB 0: Nicely to Jeremy LaFrance. Missed PAT. 39 seconds left in the first half. LaFrance has been at Akron forever.

INT: Stop me if you heard this before. The ball bounces off Marcus Rivers hands and into the hands of a defender. This time it was Akron's Josh Richmond, his first career pick.

Akron 6, UB 0: Patrick Nicely's 8-yard pass to Jalil Carter goes for a TD. Of course, Akron missed the PAT wide left. 

Blocked punt: Bill Alexander blocked Jacob Schum's punt and Akron recovered on the UB 19. The snap was so bad and had so much air underneath that Schum could have called a fair catch.

Success!: We finally have more first downs (eight) than punts (seven). Can't believe some people are watching Auburn-Alabama instead of this one.

Stopped on 4th down: UB had the ball on the Akron 34  and Davis was flushed from the pocket. His pass was nearly picked off. Might as well roll the dice when you're 2-9.

Scoreless after one quarter: The teams have combined for more punts (six) than first downs (five) and have 126 yards of total offense. A real barn burner.

Sack: Akron started at midfield but now is now on its 45 after UB DE Steven Means took him down. Means now has 41/2 sacks this season.

Offensive outburst: There's 4:46 left in the first quarter and both teams have combined for four first downs.

All in the family: Akron CB Manley Waller is the son of Olympic gold medalist Gwen Torrence and his father, Manley, was an All-American track athlete at Georgia.

Injury: Marr went down but walked off the field.

Pregame: Today's captains for UB are Justin Winters, Mike Marr, Jerry Housey and A.J. Principe. All 16 seniors for Akron served as captains.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Women's hoops: St. Bonaventure at Niagara

LEWISTON -- It's the holiday getaway day, a perfect time for some afternoon women's hoops.

At 2 p.m. St. Bonaventure and Niagara meet in the Gallagher Center in the first Big 4 clash of the season. The Bonnies are 2-2 while Niagara is still looking for its first win. The .500 record is an anomaly for the Bonnies, who have had quick starts the last three years. It's the first time Bona is .500 since Feb. 15, 2007.

A few quick facts on the series:

Bona leads the overall series, 31-23 while Niagara holds a 14-8 edge in games played on Monteagle Ridge. The Bonnies have won three straight against the Purple Eagles.

Players to watch: Niagara freshman Katie Gattuso was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week two weeks ago after playing 31 minutes and scoring seven points with nine rebounds in her first collegiate start. In the last game for the Purple Eagles (a loss at Akron) she had a career-high 17 points.

Bona sophomore Chelsea Bowker had a career-best 16 points and nine rebounds in the team's win over Quinnipiac on Sunday.

Check back for updates throughout the game.

First half

15:38: Bona leads, 15-8. The Bonnies are using most of the shot clock, costing them one possession.

11:57: After a hot shooting start, both teams missed plenty of shots in that four minute span. Bona leads, 12-9.

7:40: A 7-1 run by Niagara gives the Purple Eagles an 18-13 lead. Gattuso has two buckets in the run while Kayla Stroman has a 3-pointer. Bona looks a bit disorganized on the offensive end.

3:45: Bona picks up its defense and rebounding to regain the lead, 25-18. Jessica Jenkins drew two charges on the last two Niagara possessions.

Halftime: Bona leads, 30-23. The Bonnies went on a 15-0 streak to regain the momentum. Neither team is putting up impressive offensive numbers with Bona shooting 39.3 percent (11 of 28) and NIagara 35.7 percent (10 of 28). Jenkins leads all scorers with 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers.

Second half

15:43: Bona leads, 38-29, but the Bonnies are a bit sloppy on both ends of the floor and standing around on offense. Niagara plays with tenacity which keeps them in the game.

11:12: Using a 13-6 run to start the half, the Bonnies opened up a double-digit lead. Megan Van Tatenhove scored six straight points for Bona, which leads, 49-35, though a 3-pointer by Niagara's Meghan Waterman gave the Purple Eagles a rush of energy just before the official timeout.

3:56: Bona leads, 57-43. It was 57-37 but Niagara is hitting free throws and the Bonnies look ready to end the game, getting a bit sloppy.

Final: Bona wins, 68-47. The Bonnies improve to 3-2 while Niagara falls to 0-4.

--- Amy Moritz

UB makes a statement

---UB left Canisius searching at every turn Tuesday night, tormenting its rival 81-64.

---UConn is down this year? Not if Kemba Walker keeps playing like this.

---Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl says his character is on trial.

---After defeating Kansas State in the CBE Classic championship game, Duke proved its the top team in the land. According to KenPom's stats, they are supposed to win every one of their games. It helps that point guard Kyrie Irving has come of age.

---Pacific and Arkansas State had to wait out a tornado warning, but Kentucky and Washington played through a minor earthquake in Maui.

---Minnesota's stock has risen higher than any team in the country in the past week. But coach Tubby Smith doesn't want his team to stop rising.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Defense is the key for the Bulls

---Jeff Quinn figures that a victory over Akron will come only if UB's defense returns to form. Here's a team report on the Zips. The Bulls have won just one game against the spread this season.

---Two years after Auburn's Gene Chizik arrived to a largely quizzical response, he has Auburn in exactly the same place as Nick Saban's second-year Alabama squad -- undefeated and headed to Atlanta next week with a shot to advance to the BCS championship game. Is there still time to catch Cam Newton in the Heisman race?

---Minnesota has met with San Diego State and former Ball State coach Brady Hoke about possibly hiring him as its new coach. Ball State's next coach could have ties to the Cardinals program.

---Although Turner Gill is preparing for his first Border War rivalry against Missouri he knows exactly what it's all about.

---Al Hamnik writes Bill Lynch should be fired as Indiana's football coach after four seasons of futility and empty promises. Bob Wojnowski says the same thing about Rich Rodriguez at Michigan. Lynch and Rich Rode aren't the only coaches in a high risk positions.

---Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand remains paralyzed from the spinal cord injury he suffered in the Scarlet Knights' Oct. 16 game against Army, but has made significant progress which medical experts say brings a more more optimistic long-term outlook for recovery.

---Rodney McKissic

(www.twitter.com/rodneyjmckissic)

Canisius-UB Game Analysis

UB 81, Canisius 64

How Bulls Won: How could they lose? They shot 57 percent from the floor. They won the boards, 36-25. Seventeen of their 29 field goals were assisted as the offense hummed.

Why Canisius Lost: Bulls locked up Griffs point guard Gaby Belardo, either with Byron Mulkey or with double teams, which forced Canisius away from basket. Two quick fouls that limited forward Elton Frazier to two first-half minutes were death against UB's fresh and agile four-man low-post rotation.

Turning Point: Apparently that came when Canisius disrespected UB's center-court logo after last year's dramatic win at Alumni Arena. But the Griffs counter that last year's episode was payback for UB antics of the previous year. Kids.

Player of the Game: Mulkey owned the floor from the get-go and filled up the stat sheet with a career-high 23 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals against one turnover in 35 minutes. And his defense, as previously noted, was superb.

Unsung Hero: UB forward Jawaan Alston came off the bench and contributed nine points, seven boards (four offensive), two assists and a block in 21 minutes. Or was it fellow backup forward Javon McCrea, who had nine rebounds, seven points, four steals and three assists in 21 minutes. UB's Titus Robinson is in a major battle for minutes.

Stat of the Game: Griffs center Tomas Vazquez-Simmons managed just two points in 33 minutes.

What It Means: Nobody in the Big 4's playing better than the Bulls (3-1). Griffs (2-2) were dealt a dose of humility after big home wins against Bona and Eastern Michigan.

They Said It: "This one was on our list going back to last year." Mulkey in reference to the logo incident.

In the House: There were 1,811 at the KAC.

Next Up: UB visits Indiana State Saturday, Canisius plays Binghamton on Tuesday.

-- Bob DiCesare

 

 

 

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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare | bdicesare@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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