UB 77, Niagara 67
How UB Won: Javon McCrea, coming off a career-high 31 points at Milwaukee Wednesday, was held without a field goal for the first time in his career. Not to worry. Will Regan went 11 over his career high, scoring 26, punishing the Purple Eagles from inside and out.
Turning Point: UB never trailed and Niagara never went away until Regan hit his third three of the night from the corner with 3:17 left. That put UB on top, 66-58.
Player of the Game: You've probably figured it out by now.
Best Supporting Role: Point guard Jarod Oldham continues to evolve into a scoring threat. He had a career-high 20 against St. Bonaventure on Dec. 1 and went for 18 against the Purple Eagles. He was 5 of 10 from the field, 8 of 13 from the line and overcame five turnovers with seven assists.
White Returns: Fifth-year senior transfer Devon White not only suited up for the first time this year, he was in Niagara's starting lineup. White, a 6-foot-8, 240-pounder from La Salle, had been out since suffering an Achilles tendon injury over the summer. He played 23 minutes and had four points, five rebounds and two blocks.
Missing: Niagara was without forward Joe Thomas and guard Marvin Jordan. Thomas returned home because of the death of his grandmother. Jordan missed his second straight game with a groin injury.
What It Means: UB is 4-7 and on its first winning streak of the season. Niagara is 3-6 and still looking for its first back-to-back wins.
Gamesmanship: Niagara coach Joe Mihalich "established a rapport" with the officials in the early going, prompting Reggie Witherspoon to comment to a passing referee, "If he's going to stand up and referee, I'm going to stand up and referee." The fouls were about even late in the half, but Mihalich apparently objected to sto a call with 38.7 seconds left, was hit with a technical, and UB turned the foul and the "T" into four points and a 37-28 halftime lead.
In the House: Attendance numbered 4,012.
They Said It:
"I didn't use any bad language. I didn't use the magic word. I didn't throw my coat in the stands. -- Mihalich on his "T".
"I actually felt good out there, especially coming off an injury like I had. I would love to get back out there again and keep helping my team. All in all, it's great to be out there back on the court supporting my team." -- White on coming back off his injury.
"it's important to have another person out there that can shoot that shot (the three). It opens the court and that's what we've been working on. I think that fits right into Will's strengths, running the court." -- Witherspoon on the Bulls offensive emergence.
"With us opening the floor, that really helps out a lot. You can't really throw three guys down on Javon. You can't have two or three guys sagging in there because Tony (Watson) is hitting shots and Will is hitting shots." -- Oldham
"Seriously, it's been a while since I've gotten meaningful minutes in a game." -- Regan, who played sparingly his freshman year at Virginia and sat out last year as a transfer.
Next Up: UB is off until it visits Washington State on Dec. 21. Niagara plays four of its next five at home beginning with Hartford on Wednesday night.
-- Bob DiCesare
taggedBig 4 | College basketball | Niagara | University at Buffalo