The now 3-2 Bulls captured their first home win of the season last night with a 7 point victory over a really good army team. This turns out to be the 5th straight game where the Bulls were actually a better team than their opponent (in pure talent and ability) but only the 3rd win of the year because of the debacles against Vermont and Canisius.
In case you weren't there last night (which I hope every was since the games are free for undergrad students) the Bulls kind of looked sloppy offensively. 22 turnovers is something that they have been accustomed to throughout the year, but despite that the Bulls shot 43% from the field, and 80% from the line. Defensively the Bulls were "okay" holding a high scoring Army team to only 67 points, but still allowed them to shoot 44% from the field.
Opinion on how we played...
Luckily the 3's were dropping for us because if they weren't Buffalo definitely would have lost the game. They did a good job of getting fouled going to the rim late in the game, but in the first 5 minutes of the game they couldn't even get a shot off because they were so bad against the 1-3-1. Everyone turned the ball over in the game, and no one seems completely comfortable when the ball is in their hands, and this goes from everyone from Pierce, to Filzen, to Boudreau.
With all those negatives being said, a win is a win, especially when you do it the same way Buffalo always does. The scoring was extremely balanced, they out rebounded their opponent like they always seem to do, and were able to play a lot of different guys to keep fresh like they always do. As of right now 9 players are averaging over 11 minutes a game, and that number looks like its gonna stay that way for the rest of the year. This becomes extremely helpful down the stretch when players like Watt seem to not mentally be there at all likes hes looked the past few games. As awkward as it may sound, not having a true scorer on the team gives us a better chance of being successful, because our leading scorer has an off night everyone else is there to pick up the load. This makes it hard for opposing teams defenses to say "We're gonna stop so and so tonight" because doing that doesn't do much for them since Buffalo's scoring is so balanced.
My final thought is actually a good one about Reggie and knowing his players. Down the stretch of a game, he always knows which 5 players he wants in there, and whenever all 5 of them on the court towards the end of the game, the Bulls win. Boyer, Pierce, Betts, Titus, and Boudreau is the most dependable line-up and whenever these guys are in at the end of the game, it turns into a win. The 2 losses came from when Boudreau fouled out (so Watt lost the game for us at the end) and when Boyer fouled out (so we had no true point guard to know what to do down the stretch). Having these 5 guys in at the end of games is key for Buffalo's success, and if you watch closely, they win every game when these are the 5 on the court at the end.