There are few teams in college sports that we at Bull Run dislike more than Canisius basketball. Today, Shannon Evans and the Bulls Men's Basketball team moved 4-1 with a 72-57 win over their crosstown rivals.
The two teams were moving in different directions at the beginning of the season, with Buffalo's 3-1 start their best since 2011-12, and Canisius 2-2 after a loss to Cornell.
The story of last year's Canisius win in the First Niagara Center was an 11-point comeback in the second half en route to a relatively large margin of victory. This year's game looked a lot different, as both teams graduated serious star power: the Golden Griffins Billy Baron and UB Javon McCrea.
The most notable aspect of today's matchup was UB speed and size advantage over the Griffs. At the half, UB led 34-19 thanks to a dominant defensive effort . I don't have immediate access to stats other than points, but the Bulls may have had 10 steals and 7 blocks in the first half alone. Lamonte Bearden in particular stood out with a pair of threes, 12 points overall, and a number of exciting steals. Rodell Wigginton had 8 and 6 rebounds as well.
Over the course of the second, Rodell and Lamonte continued to impress, and UB scored a number of buckets in transition. Canisius switched to a zone in the half court set but could only show down the Bulls. In a clean game with few fouls, it was never really in doubt.
Canisius was just smaller and slower than UB up and down the floor. Bearden would lead the Bulls with a career-high 23, while Moss and Wigginton also hit double digits. Canisius was led by Zach Lewis' 16 points.
Here's something to think about: Bearden is by a long shot off to a hotter start than Shannon Evans last year. Barring transfers, Hurley has both for two and a half more years.
We will have a full writeup later on today. UB next plays Wednesday, 3 December, when they travel to Olean to take on St. Bonaventure. Students interested in the game and a round trip bus trip for $10 should call 716-645-2890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a ticket.