Just after the Buffalo Bulls had defeated the Ohio Bobcats 55–43 in a Thursday afternoon matinee, Coach Felicia Legette-Jack took the microphone and stated that it was an "ugly win", but she'll still take the win. Buffalo now is 6-4 in the MAC, and 13-8 overall.
The matchup against Ohio looked promising for Buffalo. Buffalo had scored 92 points (their highest output in the MAC this year) in a loss at Akron on Sunday, with both Kristen Shark and Mackenzie Loesing scoring 30. The offense was on fire.
Ohio came into the game with a sub-.500 record, only 7 healthy players, all of whom were freshman or sophomores, and the least active coach I have ever seen (more on that later).
What could go wrong for Buffalo?
Buffalo was ice cold in the first half, scoring only 18 points and unable to hit a three pointer, and they went into halftime down by two. Had it not been for Loesing's 10 points in the half, Buffalo would have been in huge trouble. And Coach Jack was even able to joke about it after the game, telling the lunch-hour crowd after the game "I hope you didn't lose your lunch during the first half".
Buffalo's offense would play at a higher level in the second half, and they finally pulled away from Ohio in the last three minutes, beginning with a three-pointer from Loesing (Buffalo's only three-pointer of the game), to turn a one point lead into a four point lead, 47–43, and Ohio would never score again.
Freshman Alexus Malone had a career high 16 rebounds, and Christa Baccas upped her MAC-leading block total with five more blocks. Sharkey had 11 rebounds.
But the front line offense continues to be an enigma. Sharkey has twice gone over 30 points in a game this year, only to follow that up with a poor-shooting, single-digit performance. When Sharkey is on, she carves out great space for herself in the lane (reminding you of Kourtney Brown), and she has the moves to get the defense out of position and off-balance, and scores easily. And that just didn't happen much against Ohio, and when she did get position in the paint, her teammates just couldn't get her the ball.
First-year Bobcats coach Bob Boldon was an even bigger enigma. He almost never spoke to the referees during the game. And I'm okay with that, I found it refreshing, and if every coach did that I'd be thrilled. But Boldon barely spoke to his players during the game, and I was very troubled by that. I have never seen a coach so quiet. And despite the fact that Ohio was within one point of Buffalo with three minutes left, Boldon called only one timeout in the entire game. But let's give him the benefit of the doubt — maybe he had the worst sore-throat in the history of sore-throats and told the team before the game that they should go out and play and he wasn't going to say anything. Maybe.
The official attendance was 1385, about a thousand more people than I actually saw at Alumni Arena. And I know what happened. They sold all those tickets, but no one could find a parking spot! I arrived at the parking lots about 20 minutes before the game, and drove around for 15 minutes (as did many other cars) until I got very lucky and found an empty spot. I am under the assumption that parking is a major issue around Thursday noon when class is in session, and I got to experience it first hand. Hey, Danny White ... why did you have to schedule a matinee when class was in session? Why couldn't you schedule the matinee two weeks earlier when class was not in session? If next year there is a similar matinee while class is in session, I'd strongly consider staying home.