There is a new rule, when Javon McCrea scores over twenty points, we lose. Maybe it's because when he gets that much time its because everyone else is dreadful. Maybe when the defense sees him racking up 27 points they decide to go soft.
Javon McCrea scored a career-high 29 points, going 13-of-16. He also added 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. While the Bulls lost McCrea planted his own flag in the UB Record books, breaking the school record for points scored in a season by a freshman with 400.
Byron Mulkey had 12 points, four rebounds and five assists in the final game of his career. Fellow senior Jawaan Alston finished with seven points and four rebounds.
The Bulls stayed in the game for most of the first half, were it not for a Filzen Turnover in the waning seconds of the half Buffalo could have ended the first frame tied.
Down by five at the half, the Bulls kept is close until midway through the second half when Iona started to get hot and UB's shooting cooled down. The Gaels hit three straight three-pointers to extend a five-point advantage to 14 and put Iona up, 67-53, with 5:06 remaining. Iona finished with 11 three-pointers in the game.
Buffalo was a bit sloppy with the ball turning the ball over 20 times, the Gaels converted those turnovers into 28 points.
“I thought our guys played really hard, but our decision making wasn’t good. You can’t defend turnovers. When we made errors, they made us pay.” -- Reggie Witherspoon
In reality you can't be too upset with how the CIT went, winning would have been nice but Iona is a top 70 team (read good enough for the NIT if not the NCAA). And we were playing them in their barn.So the season is over and it was just the Bulls’ third 20-win season in school history - all coming in the past seven years under head coach Reggie Witherspoon. This was supposed the be a rebuilding year and most folks were thinking a dozen wins, let alone 20, would be a stretch for the experience starved Bulls.
Coach Witherspoon used the CIT to help get next years talent ready. Three key Bulls got a lot out of the tournament. McCrea’s played a great game, Auraum Nuiriankh scored a career-high seven points in 14 minutes and Jarod Oldham played a career-high 28 minutes and had a point, four rebounds, an assist and a pair of steals.
Next year the bar should be set quite a bit higher for Buffalo who return all but two players from this years team.