Game analysis: UB built an 18-point lead with just over 12 minutes remaining but Saint Peter’s cut that lead to just four with 38 seconds left. The Bulls managed to put the game away with free throws in the final 36 seconds and held on to win, 72-65.
How UB won: The Bulls pulled down 13 of their 16 offensive rebounds in the first half and entered halftime with a 36-24 lead. Saint Peter’s, the defending MAAC Tournament champs, shot just 32.3 percent in the first half and but the time it found a comfort level offensively it was too late.
Turning point: The Bulls led 52-34 with 12:27 left in the game when Saint Peter’s began pressing full court. The Peacocks didn’t force many turnovers but they were able to slow down the Bulls and knock them off their rhythm. Saint Peter’s got the lead under double figures for good on a Jack Hill layup with 1:41 left and that began UB’s march to the free throw line where they connected on 9 of 12 to finish the game.
Player of the game: Don’t look now, but sophomore Javon McCrea is in the starting lineup. 18 points, six rebounds and four assists on 7-for-10 shooting is a nice way to start the season.
Unsung player of the game: Sophomore Jarod Oldham takes over for Byron Mulkey at point guard and finished with eight points, six assists, five rebounds, two steals and one turnover in 36 minutes.
Stat of the game: The Bulls were outrebounded 41-38 and the Peacocks grabbed 19 boards on the offensive glass. Not good for UB.
He said it: “A lot of people look and say, ‘Well, who’s starting?’ and they kind of look at it like the rest of the guys are the backup quarterback like they’re not going to get in. We’re really a lot more concerned about who’s coming off the bench.’’ – UB coach Reggie Witherspoon.
What it means: The Bulls start the season at 1-0 for the sixth time in the last seven years.
In the house: 2,623 at Alumni Arena including former Bulls center Mark Bortz, who is now retired and is working on his MBA at UB.
Next up: 7 p.m. Wednesday vs. Cornell at Alumni Arena.