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BYU-UB game analysis

Game analysis: As Reggie Witherspoon said, Jimmer Fredette is a bad dude. The BYU All-American guard had six points by halftime and finished with 34 as the No. 16 ranked Cougars defeated the Bulls, 90-82.

Why UB lost: The Bulls played well enough to overcome Fredette’s offense, but the turnovers (20) and offensive rebounds (13) were way too high to beat a quality team like BYU.

Turning point: UB trailed 68-65 after a Zach Filzen three-pointer but the momentum shifted quickly after the Bulls Jawaan Alston was whistled for an intentional foul on Brandon Davies. He made both free throws and after the Cougars got the ball back, Fredette missed a jumper that was tipped in by Davies and BYU led 72-65. Byron Mulkey’s layup pulled the Bulls within five but they never got closer.

Player of the game: Fredette also shot 11 of 24 and handed out six assists.

Stat of the game: BYU shot 60.7 percent from the floor in the second half.

He said it: “He’s a bad dude.’’ – UB coach Reggie Witherspoon on Jimmer Fredette.

What it means: Not a bad showing against one of the top teams in the country. The problem with UB, however, has always been building some kind of success off a loss to a quality opponent.

In the house: The official attendance reads 5,803 but there wasn’t any seats left so 6,100 it is.

Next up: The Bulls play at Cornell on Monday.

---Rodney McKissic


UB-BYU Game Thread


BYU    90, UB  82 .  All bow to Jimmer Fredette. 32 points after just six at the half. Yeah, he gets every break imagineable. But he's earned it. Smart move turning down football scholarship to Penn State. Mulkey, McCrea and Watt all solid for Bulls. Can't wait to see how McCrea progresses over next three years. Attendance: 5803-- about 300 shy of capacity.

6:57 p.m. We're about 10 minutes before tipoff and a nice crowd has filed in. People sitting top row across from the press table. Nice to see. It's not often a top-20 team comes to town with a pre-season All-American -- who doubles as the natiion's fifth-leading scorer -- in the lineup.

Bulls are 10-point underdogs but the growing crowd could be a bigger factor than expected considering the students are on break. Bulls received and granted requests for more than 350 tickets from 18 local high school programs.

We've seen at least five NBA scouts in the building to assess BYU guard Jimmer Fredette.

Starting Lineups:

UB: Byron Mulkey, Zach Filzen, Mitchell Watt, Dave Barnett, Titus Robinson.

BYU: Brandon Davies, Charles Abouo, Kyle Collinsworth, Jimmer Fredette, Noah Hartsock. Cougars go 6-5 (Abouo), 6-8 (Hartsock) and 6-9 (Davies) across the front line. Collinsworth is 6-6, Fredette 6-2.

Decent Glens Falls representation on hand (it's Fredette's hometown).


15:52: BYU 46-41. Fredette warming up. He has four of BYU's seven. Officials treat him like he's a god. Mulkey picked up second on questiionable charge. But UB can't be turning the ball over the complaining. Alston out with four fouls. UB baskets have come from Watt (a half-opening jam) and Alston.

14:47: BYU 49-41: Turnovers plaguing UB. Witherspoon calls time after Fredette hits layup off Bulls miscue. Bulls again trying to play faster than they're capable. And faster than game warrants. Too many rushed shots and forced passes.

11:54 BYU 54-51: UB on 10-2 run with Mulkey scoring eight of them. He drew a foul from Fredette in converting a conventiional three-point play, nailed one from behind the arc and then scored off an inbounds ball when he bounced the inbounds pass off a Cougar defender. Mulkey up to 14, Fredette 15. Hartsock still stuck on 15. Hasn't attempted shot in half.

7:45 BYU 68-60. Fredette's the real deal but this officiating crew is laughable. Might as well be playing in Provo. I mean, I know they protect the nation's top teams but this is extreme. But back to Fredette. He's up to 24. What a show. He had six at half. Killing Bulls on penetration (six assists) and can pull up from anywhere. Crossover stutterstep move for fast-break layup a gem. 

3:14: BYU 80-72: Fredette's better than the No. 4 at Jonny C's. Just hit step-back jumper off screen and has 26. UB's problem: 19 turnovers. Mulkey having great game with 16 points, eight assists. But it's like a Gilbert Perreault hat trick the night Gretzky scored three to break single-season goal record. Secondary stuff.


15:36: BYU out to 10-3 lead. UB just missed four shots on its last possession.

13:50: First media timeout arrives with Cougars ahead, 16-5. Noah Hartsock is killing Bulls from the perimeter. He's hit a three from the right baseline, the left baseline and the wing and has 11 points -- two above his per-game average. Bulls extremely jittery on the offensive end and playing too quick for themselves. UB just 2-11 on FGA.

11:48: Hartsock up to 13 but Bulls have cut deficit to 18-9. Mulkey hit layup off steal and Watt struck inside. Fredette still scoreless and has forced a couple of his 5 FGA. Hartsock 5 of 6 FG and perfect on 3 treys.

5:22: BYU time out as Bulls run off 10 straight to tie it at 25. Place is going nuts and it has to be close to a sellout. Can't see many empty seats. Javon McCrea's struck for eight and Filzen just nailed a pair of threes. Bulls settling in. McCrea's amazing. Just lets game come to him. Totally at ease in the 11th game of his career and first against a major foe. Cougars bothered by UB defense and ability to rotate four in low post. BYU 8 of 26 from field, UB 11 of 24.

3:25: BYU 30, UB 27: Watt picks up second foul needlessly, hammering Rogers on perimeter. He makes one of three FT. Cougars go up 30-25 before McCrea scores again inside. He has 10. Fredette taking breather since last media TO. Bulls 12-26, Cougars 10-28. Bulls winning boards 19-18.

Halftime: BYU 39-37. Bulls score last six points of half and leave to standing O. Fredette has been decidedly ordinary. But there's 20 mnutes left. UB 16 of 30, BYU 13 of 34. McCrea has 10, Hartsock 15. Rebounds 20-20. Bulls with 11 turnovers to Cougars' 7. Fredette 1 of 9 from field, 1 of 6 from three. He has four assists and two turnovers. Alston has three fouls for Bulls, Watt and Robinson two apiece. Abouo and Kyle Collinsworth have two for Cougars. 

-- Bob DiCesare


It's Jimmer, not James

---Jimmer Fredette is a BYU legend now, the Glens Falls native who traveled clear across the country to play basketball, and made the Cougars a darkhorse pick to reach the Final Four in April.

---BYU's slow starting Stephen Rogers is trying to find his groove.

---Canisius sophomore Alshawn Hymes came off the bench to torment Northwestern State with a flurry of threes launched from a wide variety of locations, setting a school record with nine.

---Andy Glockner predicts the future of college hoops for 2011, and also explains how Harvard is getting into a position to win it's first Ivy League title since 1946.

---Rutgers faces a huge learning curve.

---Can you believe these guys are still playing?

---Rodney McKissic


What's the rush for James?

James ---In two seasons, LaMichael James, pictured left, has already put together arguably the most impressive career for a running back in Oregon history.

---After three days of taking in the sights and sounds of New York – most of them somewhat snow-covered – Syracuse and Kansas State will finally tee up the football today.

---On the same day Maryland bid goodbye to Ralph Friedgen with a resounding victory in the Military Bowl, one candidate to succeed Friedgen, former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, was on the school campus.

---With controversial decisions regarding Auburn quarterback Cam Newton and Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor fresh in the public mind -- and with an appeal hearing by USC less than a month away -- the NCAA issued another statement regarding its decision-making process.

---Miami and Notre Dame used to be a coach's paradise but lately, it's become more of a graveyard.

---The Granddaddy never gets too old.

---Here's some predictions for 2011.

---Rodney McKissic


Canisius-Northwestern St. Game Analysis

Canisius 85, Northwestern St. 52

How Canisius Won: It was looking bleak when Griffs missed 13 straight shots while falling behind by nine early in the second half. But Canisius remainded committed to defense and went to town on the backboards to turn the game around in a hurry.

Turning Point: A 17-0 run turned a 21-12 deficit into a 29-21 lead. Hymes nailed three of his school-record nine treys in the assault.

Player of the Game: Hymes not only set a school record for threes, he tied the conference mark in becoming the sixth MAAC player to throw down nine. The last was Keydren Clark of St. Peter's -- against Canisius -- on Feb. 24, 2006. Hymes was 9 of 19 from the field, 9 of 15 from behind the arc, in scoring a career-high 28 points. He's a terror when he's getting open looks and shooting in rhythm.

Stat of the Game: With seven minutes remaining the Demons had fewer rebounds than turnovers. They finished with 38 boards and a ghastly 29 turnovers.

Milestones: Julius Coles scored 15 to top 1,000 points for his career. He's the 31st Griff to reach that plateau and the second to do it against Northwestern State. Greg Logins reached 1,000 in an 86-74 loss to the Demons on Dec. 19.

They Said It: Northwestern coach Mike McConathy while walking into the interview room: "How do you put lipstick on that whooping?"

In the House: A students-on-break crowd of 929 saw the Griffs win their second straight and break a two-game home losing streak. Elton Frazier on the fastbreak is worth the price of admission all by himself. They have to let that guy in the dunk contest at the Final Four.

What It Means: Griffs back to .500 at 6-6.

Did You Know?: Bills cornerback Terrence McGee and offensive tackle Demetrius Bell are Northwestern Staters. The Demons toured the Bills practice facility Tuesday.

Did You Know II: This was the northernmost basketball game Northwestern State has ever played.

What's Next: Canisius resumes MAAC play at St. Peter's on Monday.

---Bob DiCesare

Encore, encore!

---BYU makes an encore trip to New York.

---Michael Davenport and Andrew Nicholson played big in St. Bonaventure's win over visiting Siena, while Niagara suffered its worst defeat in 13 years in its loss at Drexel.

---Duke should know more about Kyrie Irving's toe injury next week although Adam Zagoria of spoke with Dexter Strickland, North Carolina guard and a close friend of Irving's, and Strickland said Irving threw out the possibility of his returning in six weeks or two months when the two visited with each other over the holidays.

---It's not worth it to take small gifts.

---Seton Hall's Jeremy Hazell speaks about getting shot on Christmas day.

---Mississippi State's Rick Stansbury is trying to work through what actually happened between Elgin Bailey and Renardo Sidney before making any decisions.

---Some midseason superlatives from Seth Davis.

---Rodney McKissic


Spectacular turnaround for Stanford

Harbaugh ---Thanks to Jim Harbaugh, pictured left, Stanford made a huge turnaround.

---Syracuse punter Rob Long inspires his teammates even if he can't play.

---Ohio State's suspended players apoligized to Buckeyes fans, while the tattoo shop in question is under investigation. Rick Telander writes the Ohio State case indicates the sport is all about money.

---Miami, Ohio's success helps in its coaching search.

---Early money was on Mike Leach being the next coach at Maryland after the school fired Ralph Friedgen. But Leach isn't the only candidate the Terps have spoken with.

---It will be an awkward year of transition next season at West Virginia.

---Since college football is going through its annual coaching merry-go-round, there's no shortage of assistants eyeing promotions.

---Is it time for a playoff?

---MAC schools should avoid the Sun Belt.

---Rodney McKissic


Bona-Siena Game Analysis

St. Bonaventure 82, Siena 79

How Bona Won: Siena center Ryan Rossiter was neutralized by Bona zone that often had Andrew Nicholson confronting him with help when ball was kicked inside. Rossiter, who averages just over 20 points, managed just five shots from the field and four points. Saints blistering shooting from three-point range (11 for 23) nearly made up the difference even without injuried guard Clarence Jackson, team's second-leading scorer.

Turning Point: Bonnies were down nine when coach Mark Schmidt called timeout. Ogo Adegboye nailed a three. Then Michael Davenport hit a three. The momentum had shifted and Davenport scored eight of 10  Bona points in a 10-2 run that made it 70-63 with 2:25 left.

Player of the Game: Nicholson was super -- 26 points and seven boards. But Davenport was The Man during decisive run and finished with 20 points, eight boards, seven assists and two steals. 

Stat of the Game: Neither team shot a free throw during a first half in which only six fouls were called. Bona finished 19 of 23 from the line as Siena went the foul route down the stretch.

Stat of the Game II: Adegboye went to the bench for a whole minute!! He's played all but two minutes of the last six games,which includes five OT sessions. Let's see how he holds up when the A-10 grind commences.

Strategy Shift: Bonnies were puzzled on how to utilize Nicholson when Niagara draped him with a 2-3 zone back on Dec. 11. Siena tried to go zone but Nicholson was either able to gain position on Rossiter or took his game outside and shot the mid-range jumper. It's exactly what they/he failed to do against Purple Eagles.

Ascending: Nicholson grabbed career rebound No. 500 and is the 22nd player in Bona history with 1,000 points and 500 boards.

What It Means: Bona improves to 7-4 and has to be kicking itself over losses to Canisius and Niagara. For the most part, Schmidt's done an excellent job with a very limited but talented cast.

They Said It: "A lot of times it's not what the coach says it's what the players do. Just like calling plays. You can call all the plays you want but if the players don't make the shots those plays are useless." Schmidt in deflecting credit for what he said to team during timeout that preceded comeback.

In the House: It's never the same anywhere when students are on break. But crowd of 3,679 was into it in its own way.

Next Up: Marshall visits the Reilly Center Sunday afternoon.

-- Bob DiCesare





Siena pays a visit to St. Bonaventure

---The one constant for up and down Siena has been the play of center Ryan Rossiter, who begins his final tour of Western New York when the Saints meet up with St. Bonaventure at the Reilly Center.

---BYU comes to Alumni Arena on the rise in both polls.

---Niagara's freshmen should follow the leader.

---Seven weeks ago, after his team blew out Canisius, Jim Boeheim called his Syracuse Orange the most overrated team in his long tenure as head coach. Perhaps things have changed.

---Albany's Will Brown hands out a nice assist.

---Rodney McKissic


'Canes, Irish look back at rivalry

---There was a time back in the 80s when Miami and Notre Dame hated each other, but hate wouldn't be the appropriate word to describe how they feel about each other these days. Friday's game at the Sun Bowl in El Paso will be the first meeting between the Irish and Canes since 1990. The story about Lou Holtz crying during recruiting trips to the homes of Melvin Bratton and Alonzo Highsmith is classic.

---Here's a story on Rudy Riska, the man behind the Heisman Trophy.

---TCU takes a well deserved stroll into the Rose Bowl.

---In the week after the school announced that he would be fired after Wednesday's game against East Carolina, Maryland's Ralph Friedgen has been emotional about his firing which he likens to a slow death.

---Sue Paterno is fed up with all the rumors about her Hall of Fame coach and husband.

---Big Ten doesn't want to get bowled over.

---Early 2011 predictions in the ACC.

---Randy Shannon is a candidate to become the DC at Wisconsin.

---A closer look at Kent State's contract with new coach Darrell Hazell.

---The Carolina Panthers are on the clock.

---Rodney McKissic


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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 |

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 |