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
taggedCollege basketball | Mid-American Conference | University at Buffalo