UB 68, Bowling Green 65
How UB Won: The Bulls did a solid job defensively on BG's top scorers, A'uston Calhoun and Jordan Crawford. They loosened up the Falcons' zone with seven treys. They cut down on the turnovers (10) and got the ball where it needed to be down the stretch -- in the hands of Javon McCrea.
Turning Point: Bowling Green was up 10 when Crawford committed a senseless reach-in foul on Cameron Dowing with three-tenths of a second left in the first half. Downing made both free throws, cutting the deficit to single digits, and the Bulls drew even by opening the second half with a 10-2 run.
Player of the Game: McCrea said three games ago he needed to take on more of a leadership role. He went off for 21 points and 14 boards against the Falcons, and get a load of these numbers the last two games: 54 points, 16-27 FG, 22-24 FT, 24 rebounds, four blocks.
Best Supporting Role: Sometimes Jarryn Skeete plays like the freshman point guard he is. Saturday he played like what a coach hopes a freshman grows into. He had a career-high 16 points, six rebounds and turned it over just once.
Stat Check: Both teams made seven treys. Both totaled nine assists. Both committed 18 fouls. That's how even it was.
What It Means: UB snapped a four-game losing streak and broke into the MAC win column. The Bulls are 6-12, 1-3. Bowling Green fell to 6-11, 1-3. The Falcons have lost five of their last six -- with all the losses coming on the road.
In the House: The crowd of 3,026 including All-MAC football players Khalil Mack, Steven Means and Alex Neutz. They were recognized on the court early in the first half.
They Said It:
BG Coach Louis Orr: "I thought for us the first three minutes of the second half probably .... was really kind of the difference in the game."
Orr on McCrea: "He's a guy who really creates a lot of contact. So referees, he makes them have to make some kind of call. He's a tough cover. Not just because of his talent and he's kind of ambidextrous, and his second and third effort, but because he creates contact."
Auraum Nuiriankh, on his two threes inside the first four minutes of the second half: " It's always a good thing when you see the ball go in as a basketball player. We've had a little bit of a struggle with shooting the ball but confidence-wise nobody's really suffered, nobody's really felt sad because we missed a couple shots."
UB Coach Reggie Witherspoon: "The biggest thing was our passing. Sometimes the passes weren't on time, sometimes they weren't on target. And as that gets better our shooting will get better and our turnovers will get less. Tonight the turnovers got less. The shooting got better, too."
Next Up: The Bulls step out of the MAC East for the first time with Wednesday's game at Ball State. Four of the next five are on the road.
-- Bob DiCesare
taggedCollege basketball | Mid-American Conference | University at Buffalo