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UB-Kent State game anaylsis

Game analysis: Javon McCrea carried UB's offense with 33 points, a career best, while adding 10 rebounds and 15 of 15 from the free-throw line. While he shot 9 of 12, his teammates shot a dreadful 7 of 31 in a 80-68 loss to Kent State.

How UB lost: McCrea could use some help - even Jordan had Pippen - and the Bulls could shoot the ball better from long distance (3-22). Taking better care of the ball would be a plus, too. Of the Bulls 20 turnovers, Kent State converted nearly half in transition and finished with 21 points total.

Turning Point: When McCrea converted a layup with 8:52 remaining to give the Bulls a 62-58 lead, it was UB's final field goal of the game. They finished the game 0 for 10 overall with four turnovers. The game was knotted at 66 when Kent State's Devareux Manley gave the Flashes the lead for good on a 3-pointer with 4:42 left in the game. The Bulls were behind, 72-68 with 1:59 left before Kent State closed out the game with a 7-0 run.

Player of the Game: Randal Holt scored 19 of his team-high 27 points in the second half.

Key stat: UB recorded just nine assists.

Foul!: A total of 55 fouls were called which meant plenty of trips to the free-throw line. UB went 38 times and made 33, while the Flashes were 25 of 36.

T him up!: Reggie Witherspoon was issued a technical foul with 55 seconds left in the game for stepping out of the coaches box. Witherspoon yelled at the clock operators for resetting the shot clock after Kent State missed a shot and UB had possession briefly before Kent State got the ball back. UB was down by six at the time and after Holt made two free throws Xavier Ford committed a foul on Chris Evans who hit two more to give Kent a, 78-68 lead with 43 seconds remaining. Witherspoon yelled at the operators: "Why don't you ever make a mistake that benefits us?"

What It Means: The Bulls fall to 0-3 in the MAC, their worst start since 2002-03.

In the House: Former UB football coach Craig Cirbus (1995-00) was among the 3,057 at Alumni Arena.

He said it: "It was a great performance by him and he's a great player. He's one of the best players to come into this league in a long time and he played great. He's a tough matchup for a lot of teams and he was a tough matchup for us." - Kent State coach Rob Senderoff.

Up next: The Bulls host Bowling Green at 7 p.m. Saturday.

---Rodney McKissic

WNY College Sports Chat - 3 p.m.

Live chat: Big 4 basketball with Bob DiCesare at 2 p.m.

Temple at St. Bonaventure: Game Recap

Game analysis: Sometimes a young team has to learn how to finish games. At home. Against conference opponents. Welcome to Sunday's lesson for the St. Bonaventure women in a 67-59 loss to Temple in the Reilly Center. The Bonnies led by seven points with six minutes to play, but missed shots and failed to rebound as the Owls came away with the win on the Atlantic 10's Opening Day. 

Turning Point: Tyonna Williams hit a three-pointer with 1:26 left to give Temple a 61-59 lead.

Player of the Game: Temple's Victoria Macaulay had 23 points and 12 rebounds.

Bona standout: Freshman Emily Michael scored 12 points hitting all four of her three-point attempts.

Walker in, Zahn out: Alaina Walker returned to the Bonnies after missing nearly two weeks with a head injury. A steady force on defense and a calming presence on offense, she scored nine points with eight rebounds in 34 minutes off the bench. The bad news was that Ashley Zahn left the game after getting hit in the mouth. She played just 13 minutes. Crowley did not know the extent of the injury after the game.

Key stat: Temple had 15 offensive rebounds which they turned into 12 second-chance points.

Key stat II: Temple created 21 points off 14 Bona turnovers.

The 100-win club: Fifth-year Temple head coach Tonya Cardoza won her 100th career game. Her overall record is 100-46.

What It Means: Bona loses its Atlantic 10 opener and has its 18-game regular season conference win streak snapped.

In the House: 527 in the Reilly Center.

He said it: “We can’t blow another lead because we don’t rebound. That’s on our players to correct. It’s not all of sudden that you magically make an adjustment. You know how to box out. It burned us before. Let’s not let it happen again.” -- Bona coach Jim Crowley

Up next: The Bonnies play at Richmond on Wednesday.

--- Amy Moritz 

UB-Miami Game Wrap

Miami (Ohio) 58, UB 57

Game Analysis: Haven't seen one like it since Ohio came from 19 down in the second half to beat UB in the 2005 MAC title game. The Bulls embarrassed themselves in falling 21 points back with 10:20 to play. The fans were so out of it they might as well have been in the parking lot. But slowly the momentum built, within 12 ... 8 ... 4. And it was nuts when UB took the lead on two Javon McCrea free throws with 1:01 left. But that's where the rampage ended. Miami, which didn't have a field goal the final 10:20, got two Allen Roberts free throws with 7.5 seconds left and escaped.

Player of the Game: Roberts led all scorers with 22 points and netted on free throws the only four points Miami scored over the final 10:20. He was ice when the situation called for it on that one-and-one near the end.

Unsung Hero: McCrea topped UB with 19 points but it's not a game without 13 points from junior forward Cameron Downing, 10 of them in the second half. It seems he's beginning to realize the impact he can have on a game.

Stat Check: UB took 10 more shots, six more rebounds and had five fewer turnovers and still lost. You do that by going 2 of 19 from behind the arc.

Random Thought: The Bulls haven't been getting much out of the 3 guard. Why not go bigger, with Will Regan at the 3 and Downing and McCrea in the low post and Xavier Ford in the big-man rotation. Can't match up defensively? Play zone. It might take off some of the pressure Auraum Nuiriankh's obviously feeling at the 3.

What It Means: The Bulls are 5-11, 0-2. Miami and first-year coach John Cooper moved to 6-8, 1-1.

In the House: The crowd of 3,284 went from asleep to enthralled to -- like the Bulls -- deeply disappointed.

Noteworthy?: Chris Beaver's the official who made the blocking call against Nuiriankh that put Roberts at the line for the winning free throws. He's the same official who called the rim hang on Titus Robinson with the Bulls mounting a rally against Ohio last year.

They Said It:
Reggie Witherspoon on the Nuiriankh foul, which appeared questionable when replayed on the scoreboard:

"I don't disagree with anything you just said. I think that's probably where I'll leave it."

Miami coach Cooper: "I thought Cameron Downing was unbelieveable. The second half he gave them an incredible boost. I thought he really played his tail off and brought them back and made some great plays down the stretch of the game."

Roberts: "When we're up 21 with 10 minutes to go, what's going through my mind is keeping pounding them. But sometimes every shot doesn't go in."

More Cooper: "I don't think for probably the first 27 minutes they were reallly ever all-the-way comfortable with running their offense. . . . I thought the double-team bothered them because it through them out of being able to run their continuity (offense)."

McCrea: "We got to take it from people, do things to make them do what we want to do rather than us doing what they want us to do. I think that's how we played for the first 30 minutes. The last 10 minutes I think we forced them to do what we wanted to do. We can be like that. I think we're good enough to do that kind of thing, we just got to sustain it. You'll see a change."

Next Up: The Bulls continue their run against MAC East teams when Kent State visits Alumni Arena at 7 Wednesday night.

-- Bob DiCesare

VCU-St. Bonaventure game analysis

Game analysis: The way St. Bonaventure has been playing of late, Saturday's game against VCU figured to be another in a growing list of blowouts. But the Bonnies hung around longer than expected before the Rams finally put away a 72-65 victory.

How St. Bonaventure lost: The Bonnies have to play better defense if they want a shot at making the Atlantic 10 Tournament. VCU drilled 59.1 percent in the second half and 52 percent for the game. As hard as undersized St. Bonaventure fought, it won't be able to make up ground until it decides to defend.

Turning Point: VCU led, 58-53, then went on an 8-0 run for a 13-point lead they nursed for the remainder of the game. St. Bonaventure managed to slice the lead to six with 34 seconds left but couldn't get any closer.

Player of the Game: VCU's Treveon Graham shot 6 of 10 overall and had 17 points and nine boards.

Wright stuff?: Matthew Wright 7 of 38 (18 percent) from downtown before the game but hit 2 of 5 on Saturday. Now is a good time to break out of his slump.

Key stat: The Bonnies were 11 of 25 from 3-point range.

Mr. Versatility: Demitrius Conger became only the third St. Bonaventure player with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 assists in a career.

Where's the D?: This is the fifth consecutive game that an opponent has shot 50 percent or better.

What It Means: Bona falls to 0-2 in the A-10 but the team believes there's still hope because of the way they fought against a VCU team that will more than likely vault in the AP Top 25.

In the House: 4,675 in the Reilly Center.

He said it: "The last four games we played with no heart it seems. Even though we lost, we feel like we finally found our heart and we got it back. We have to know that this is the bare minimum that we have to play, you just have to play hard no matter what." - St. Bonaventure junior guard Matthew Wright.

Up next: The Bonnies host Xavier in a rematch of the A-10 Tournament championship at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

---Rodney McKissic

WNY College Sports Chat - 3 p.m.

MAC Football Schedule

Here's the conference matchups for 2013 just released by the Mid-American Conference.

As we already knew, UB lost defending champ Northern Illinois from last year's schedule and was assigned Eastern Michigan (2-10, 1-7) in a crossover. So we're getting closer to some semblance of fairness after last year's death sentence.

But note that Ohio -- yet again -- plays just two crossovers (against teams a combined 5-11 in conference last season). That means the Bobcats get both Akron and UMass (a combined 2-22, 1-15) in division. UB again won't see Akron, one of its closest East rivals. Hmmm.

And NIU again has crossovers with Akron and UMass, two teams it beat by the combined tune of 100-7 last year.

Make of it what you will.



Home: Ball State, Toledo, Kent State, Ohio; Road: Northern Illinois, BGSU, Miami, UMass;

Home: Toledo, Akron, Ohio, UMass; Road: Eastern Michigan, Buffalo, Kent State, Miami;

Home: Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green, Ohio, UMass; Road: Toledo, Western Michigan, Kent State, Miami;

Home: Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Miami; Road: Ball State, Western Michigan, Akron, Ohio;

Home: Central Michigan, Bowling Green, Akron, Buffalo; Road: Ball State, Kent State, Ohio, UMass;

Home: Central Michigan, Kent State, Miami, UMass; Road: Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green, Akron, Buffalo;

Home: Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Akron, Miami; Road: Central Michigan, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Ohio;


Home: Central Michigan, Toledo, Kent State, Miami; Road: Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Akron;

Home: Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, UMass; Road: Ball State, Western Michigan, Miami, Ohio;

Home: Ball State, Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Ohio; Road: Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, Buffalo;

Home: Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Akron; Road: Central Michigan, Toledo, Kent State, UMass;

Home: Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Buffalo; Road: Ball State, Central Michigan, Bowling Green, Akron;

Home: Ball State, Central Michigan, Buffalo, Kent State; Road: Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Toledo, UMass.

-- Bob DiCesare


Blake Bean, a LB from Butler CC in El Dorado, Kan., has signed with UB. He's the fourth Butler LB to sign with a D-I program with the other three headed for Syracuse, Texas A&M and South Florida.

Bean goes 6-1, 232. He led Butler, a JUCO power, with 113 tackles last season including 11 for losses.

"Blake is a great fit for our program because he is an outstanding student and a tremendous football player,” Bulls coach Jeff Quinn said in a statement. “He went the JUCO route because he wanted the best opportunity to play collegiate football at the highest level. We have definitely benefitted from that decision and I can’t wait to see him in a UB uniform.”

Bean was a standout high school wrestler, winning state titles in Oklahoma and Kansas. His father Mike played defensive line at Ohio State at the same time UB defensive coordinator Lou Tepper was the head coach at Illinois. UB opens the 2013 season against the Buckeyes in Columbus.

-- Bob DiCesare

Live chat: Big 4 basketball with Bob DiCesare at 2 p.m.

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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 |