End of Game: UB wins, 59-57, for its eighth win in a row. Barnett made the second free throw and the Broncos couldn't get a shot off in time. Matt Stainbrook looked like he was about to cry in the handshake line.
0.3 seconds left in the second half: Stainbrook short on the second free throw with the UB student section going bonkers. Dave Barnett rebounds and gets fouled. He goes to the line, but Western Michigan calls timeout.
Make that 1.1 seconds left. Officials added time. UB still ahead, 58-57, after Stainbrook short on the first free throw. Timeout as both benches set up for possible play after the next free throw.
00.4 seconds left in the second half: Zach Filzen nailed a 12-footer from the right elbow to make it 58-57, UB. Mitchell Watt blocked Mike Douglas at the other end, but Matt Stainbrook grabbed the rebound and was fouled on the attempted putback. Watt fouled out on the play. Two free throws for Stainbrook, a 63 percent foul shooter.
20.7 seconds left in the second half: This is looking like the type of game that could take UB out of a tournament. They trail now, 57-56. They've missed six straight free throws. They ran the clock down too low on a possesion. They just allowed Mike Douglas to squeeze into the lane for a three-point play that put W. Mich. back in the lead. Let's see what Reggie comes up with.
40-.6: UB still ahead, 56-54. I hate it when coaches have their team run the clock down late in games, especially in college. Too often, all it achieves is a forced shot late in the shot clock. Sure enough, with the clocking expiring, Zach Filzen threw up a 28-foot brick and W. Michigan rebounded.
1:21 left in the second half: Robinson missed both, but Dave Barnett chased down the rebound.
1:22 left in the second half: Flenard Robinson fouls out on a feed to the low block to Titus Robinson. Robinson, who has missed his last three free throws, is at the line.
1:30 left in the second half: UB, 56-54. Matt Stainbrook scored down low for the Broncos to break the drought and make it a two-point game. Reggie Witherspoon called timeout and it's UB ball with 1:30 to go.
2:05 left in the second half: UB clinging to a 56-52 lead. That means no scoring since my last offering. Mitchell Watt picked up his fourth foul on a rebound. Flenard Whitfield missed a free throw. Titus Robinson missed two freebies at the other end. Watt altered a shot, but on the ensuing possession turned it over.
3:56 left in the second half: UB has moved ahead, 56-52. Tony Watson swished a 24-footer from the top of the key to make it 54-50. Flenard Whitfield snaked in for a bucket and drew Javon McCrea's fourth foul. Whitfield missed the foul shot, but the Broncos got the rebound. The Mitchell Watt pinned Whitfield's layup attempt for his fifth block of the night. Watt then hit a short jumper at the other end. UB regained possession and McCrea fouled out on a somewhat dubious call. McCrea bumped Matt Stainbrook and the 6-9, 290-pound hulk flopped and got the call. Ah, those MAC officials. Watt, who had one point at halftime, now has 16, along with seven rebounds and five blocks.
6:11 left in the second half. Bulls lead, 51-50. Auraum Nuiriankh hit two free throws to nudge the Bulls back into the lead, 50-49. Then Mitchell Watt hit one free throw to make it 51-49. Flenard Whitfield got fouled by Titus Robinson under the hoop and made one of two free throws to make it 51-50.
9:34 left in the second half: Western Michigan leads, 49-46. UB went on a 7-0 run to tie it on a Tony Watson jumper. But Mitchell Watt threw the ball about six feet over the UB bench on the following possession, then Austin Richie hit a three at the other end to give the Broncos the edge.
10:47 left in the second half: UB trails, 46-44, but has made a nice run in the last couple of minutes after falling behind by seven. Zach Filzen hit a three-pointer after Javon McCrea grabbed an offensive board to make it 46-42. Then Mitchell Watt, who has 10 points in the second half, hit a hook from the left baseline on the fastbreak. Watt then drew a rebounding foul at the other end. McCrea leads UB with 14 points. Wat has 11. Demetrius Ward has 12 points on four three-point bombs for the Broncos.
1611 left in the second half: Did someone say 'tenuous'? Western Michigan has taken its first lead, 37-35, after scoring 14 points in the first 3:49 of the half. Mitchell Watt scored UB's first eight points of the half on a three-point play, a hook and a three-point shot. But Demetrius Ward hit a couple of three's to pull the Broncos ahead -- the last after stripping Watt out high and pulling up alone on the break for behind the arc. Let's see if UB finds its defensive intensity again.
Halftime: UB has a tenuous 27-23 lead over Western Michigan. Not an efficient first half on the offensive end, aside from sophomore forward Javon McCrea. McCrea had 12 points and a couple of nice inside feeds for baskets. Mitchell Watt, who will be featured in tomorrow's column, has just one point. Watt's season low is nine points. Could it be the dreaded Sully jinx? UB is winning with its reliable defense. Western is just 9 of 33 from the field for 27.3 percent. If this keeps up, the Bulls might move up even higher in the national rankings for field-goal defense. They're currently eighth in the land, limiting opponents to 37.7 percent from the floor.
Senior forward Titus Robinson, who has contributed some valuable performances off the bench this season, has seven points and four boards for 'UB. Watt, who is tied for 16th in the country in blocked shots, has three rejections. Matt Stainbrook has nine point off the bench to lead the Broncos.
--- Jerry Sullivan
1:22 left in the first: UB leads, 27-20. Titus Robinson scored on a nice feed from Javon McCrea, who has been the best player on the floor tonight.
3:52 left in the first half: UB still ahead, 21-17. But the Bulls have been sloppy over the past several minutes in a game that won't win any beauty awards. Javon McCrea has 12 points on 5 of 6 shooting for the Bulls. The rest of the fellas are 3-for-16. Mitchell Watt, their second-leading scorer, has just one point. But Watt has two blocked shots and has altered three others. That's the sign of a good team. They can win when they're not shooting well. UB hasn't allowed a team to shoot 38 percent in its last five games. Of course, they're eighth in the country in field-goal defense at 37.7 percent for the year.
7:58 left in the first. UB leads, 17-12. At the Western Michigan shootaround today, I was struck by the sight of a 6-9, 290-pound guy who looked like a bulked-up version of Dwight from The Office. He had these goofy black glasses and long, curly hair. He was high-fiving his teammates during layup drills. I wondered if the guy was some walk-on. Wrong. Matt Stainbrook is the Broncos' leading scorer. The sophomore from Bay Village, Ohio, averages 12.0 points and 6.6 rebounds off the bench. He has a nice touch and actually moves well for a man his size. Stainbrook has scored six points in the last three minutes to keep W. Michigan close. Behind me in the stands, some older guys are calling him "Kurt Rambis." Jeremy Lin one night, Matt Stainbrook the next. You gotta love hoops.
11:54 left in the first: UB in front, 14-4. Javon McCrea made a pretty lefty scoop in the lane. McCrea has really been solid in his sophomore season. Maybe being the last cut from the national under-19 team last summer was good for him. I'm told he came back without an ego and has been a big part of the UB chemistry. People are calling this the closest team Reggie Witherspoon has had.
13:28 left in the first: UB leads, 12-4. Western Michigan still struggling to score, obviously, against the nation's eighth-ranked field goal defense. The skeptic in me wonders if the Bulls might get complacent and let the Broncos -- who have lost their last two in OT -- back in the game.
14:45: All right, I watched every second of the Knicks game last night. Jeremy Lin is one of the great stories to come along in sports in years. He came out of nowhere and within days, he's almost as big a story as the Giants in New York City. It was great texting with all my old New York buddies last night. Even the cynics can't find anything bad to say about it.
15:35 left in the first half: UB leads, 9-2. An early demonstration of the suffocating Bulls defense that has lifted them to a seven-game winning streak and made them one of the favorites to win the league. Western Michigan has been utterly helpless trying to establish an inside game. The Broncos are 1-for-8 from the floor. UB has five points from Zach Filzen and four from Javon McCrea. Jarod Oldham has three assists.
16:03 left in the first: Bulls off to early 7-2 lead on two buckets by Javon McCrea and a three by Zach Filzen. It's easy to see why UB is eighth in the nation in defensive field-goal percentage. Senior Mitchell Watt -- subject of my column tomorrow -- has blocked one shot and altered three others.
Here at Alumni Arena for the UB game against Western Michigan. Fired up for my first game on press row this season. The Bulls are riding a seven-game winning streak and are currently second in the MAC East -- which would be good enough for a bye straight to the semifinals of the conference tournament.
--- Jerry Sullivan