|MAC Championships, Quarter Finals - Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland|
Both the Buffalo Men and women used second half surges to get past the opening round and into the quarterfinals. Now each UB basketball team faces a foe that beat them twice during the regular season. Once again the ladies take the court at 2:30 and the Men tee up at 6:30.
Both games should feel like road games given the proximity of UB's opponents to Cleveland.
Men Take on Kent State
UB's most recent loss to Kent was probably one of the three most painful moments of the season. UB was up late before the curse of the M.A.C struck and the Bulls lost on the road at Kent, in a venue from which they have never escaped with a win.
It was UB's second loss to Kent this season, a far closer affair than the 80-86 beating Kent put on UB early in the year.
Kent finished the regular season by winning eight of their last ten games including a season ending victory over Akron which denied the zips an outright regular season title. For their efforts Kent was rewarded with a bye into the quarterfinals and a week of rest before today's game.
In both games against Kent Buffalo forward Javon McCrea was dominant. scoring 31 points in the first go around and dropping 35 points in Buffalo's overtime loss at Kent. In the second game the McCrea received a lot of help from other players on the offensive side but Kent dominated the offensive boards. When the Flashes were making their comeback they out rebounded UB by 16 boards.
With Buffalo holding a 60-49 advantage at the 11:58 mark, the Flashes went on an 8-0 run to bring it back to three, and the game see sawed after that. A layup from Tabb at the 5:38 gave Kent State its first lead of the half, but an and-one from McCrea and a Jarryn Skeete three pointer would put the Bulls back up five, 70-65. A 6-1 run capped by a Goodson three pointer tied the game at 71, and the two teams would trade a pair of points to enter overtime tied 73-all.
In overtime, with 19 seconds to play, Watson hoisted a three and hit it despite being fouled. But Watson missed the go-ahead free throw, though. So with 18 seconds and the score tied at 81-81 Kent had the ball. Evans would hold for the last shot, driving to the right of the basket and hitting a high-banked shot off the window as the horn sounded.
Kent's game favors a strong offense putting in 1.09 points per possession and averaging two more possessions per game than UB. They take better care of the ball than most teams and do well drawing fouls and scoring from the line. Beyond that they are good re bounders so their average shooting is enhanced by multiple chances.
Their physical defense and offensive style lends itself to giving their opponents even more chances for charity points than Kent themselves receive. If they face a team shooting lights out from the line games can suddenly become very close.
Buffalo want 19-22 from the line against Ball State, that kind of night could be the difference against Kent.
Women Take on Akron
Before the men take the court the UB women will be squaring off with #3 Akron.
During the regular season Akron had little trouble dispatching the Bulls winning their games by eighteen and seventeen points. Part of that success is due to the Zips ability to make most every shot count. Akron is hitting field goals at a 43% clip and hitting three pointers at a rate of just under one out of three.
Buffalo has the season edge taking the ball away. UB blocks and steals better than the Zips. The Bulls are also a slightly better rebounding team but Akron's offense has had little trouble scoring more than 65 points on anyone in the conference.
To beat Miami Buffalo played an amazingly clean game. The RedHawks did not get near the free throw line until well into the second half. The Bulls hit their free throws and kept the mistakes to a minimum.
They will have to repeat that to beat Akron, the Zips will make enough of their own chances without Buffalo giving them any more.
Men, By the Numbers
|143||Projected SOS Rank||175|
|-0.67||2-1||Blowout (+ 19)||3-0||-1|
|-0.33||4-8||Close (- 6)||7-5||-0.58|
|(201)||66.9||Pts Per Game||73.3||(58)|
|(232)||65.3||Poss Per Game||67||(163)|
|(166)||1.02||Pts Per Poss||1.09||(34)|
|23.4||FG Made Per Game||23.9|
|51.8||FG Att Per Game||54.7|
|13.9||FT Made Per Game||16.7|
|19.8||FT Att Per Game||23.7|
|6.3||3FG Made Per Game||7.2|
|18||3FG Att Per Game||19.5|
|(120)||34.9||3pt FG Pct||37.1||(52)|
|(81)||51.2||Effective FG Pct||50.2||(108)|
|(86)||54.7||True Shooting Pct||55.6||(61)|
|(102)||38.2||Free Throw Rate||43.3||(25)|
|(189)||51.1||2pt FG Point Pct||45.4||(317)|
|(144)||28.1||3pt FG Point Pct||29.6||(105)|
|(124)||20.8||FT Point Pct||22.8||(48)|
|(118)||11.6||Off Rebs Per Game||12||(94)|
|(45)||36.5||Off Reb Pct||35||(78)|
|(138)||24.1||Def Rebs Per Game||22.8||(222)|
|(194)||67.7||Def Reb Pct||65.9||(268)|
|(32)||15.1||Assists Per Game||11.9||(238)|
|(281)||5.5||Steals Per Game||6.8||(158)|
|(48)||4.6||Blocks Per Game||2.8||(241)|
|(102)||18.6||Fouls Per Game||19.5||(48)|
Women By the Numbers
|60.6||Points per game||75.9|
|.364||Field goal pct||.433|
|202-667||3 POINT FG-ATT||205-624|
|.303||3-point FG pct||.329|
|6.5||3-pt FG made per game||7.1|
|.704||Free throw pct||.777|
|38.1||Rebounds per game||40.2|
|13.5||Assists per game||17.9|
|18.5||Turnovers per game||15.6|
|9.5||Steals per game||7.4|
|4.5||Blocks per game||3.3|
|1||Home win streak||6|