For those who weren't able to attend (or just didn't feel like going to a road game, which are in fact the most fun), you missed a surprisingly good game by the Bulls. 86-80 win at the Gallagher Center, but don't let the 6 point margin fool you, they played a lot better than the score seems.
I know its a weird point to bring up first, but didn't anyone feel that pretty much every single call when Niagara's way? I'm usually not one to complain, I know how hard being a referee is. I umped little league baseball games, I chair umped for tennis matches, so I know how hard it is to be a referee...but with that said it looked really fishy how every time the Bulls tapped the Eagles, a foul was called, but nothing was ever called when we were getting hacked down low. I never ever complain about the officials, because I feel they usually do a very good job, despite what everyone thinks, but I am extremely happy UB won or else I would have blamed the refereeing of that game over and over again. Good job by the Bulls to overcome this to still come out on top.
Turnovers still a problem for this team (and not just the point guard position)but winning with 19 turnovers has to mean some good came out of the game. I think the offense (that everyone loves to criticize except me)flowed really nicely when we weren't flat out giving the ball up, and scored in a variety of ways. I know Boudreau didn't score that much in the post, but he barely played so that we could match up with Niagara's quickness. Betts is back to his usual ways of filling up the stat sheet, getting steals, blocks, points, rebounds and the time he tight-roped the sideline and threw it off the Niagara's players chest. For those of you who didn't go to the game, the one player that you really should have taken note of was Barnett. That's right, the walk-on who never got any playing time looks comfortable on the floor. He didn't look comfortable in the first few games, but last night he looked the most confident on the floor. He's extremely quick, long, and if you've ever really watched him he's a white boy who cant flat out get up!!! He's the only player on the team who would fit the "swingman position" except for Titus, but he is always played as a forward. If Barnett starts getting more playing time I think he can become a really good swingman by the time march comes around. This will help Betts get more rest, and is Barnett proves himself defensively, he can be an extra dimension to our defense which every team can use.
With all of that being said, the thing that impressed me the most was the composer the Bulls showed when Boyer left the game with 4 fouls at around 14-15 minutes left in the game. I remember thinking "Oh shit, no true point guard and we barely entered the 2nd half," but we surprisingly played really well for the 5 minutes he sat out. He then came back in with 4 fouls with about 9 minutes left in the game, and didn't foul out, which impressed me even more. I know he played off the ball handler a little bit, but when it looked like the game could go south, it didn't. Pierce stepped up, Smiley stepped up, and everyone helped close the game out in the end.
All in all, nice win that I think the team needed to raise their confidence level, and prove to themselves that they are better than a team that either makes the NIT or NCAA every year. Buffalo currently sits 70th in the RPI, which is really good for a 4-3 team who thought they had an awful non-conference schedule. A win at a really good Wisconsin-Green Bay team would really help solidify UB as a Mid-major to be reckoned with.