The theory behind the seeding and bye scheme in the Mid American Conference basketball tournament is that the higher seeded teams can be fresh for the last three rounds. In practice what it looked like tonight is that Eastern Michigan was polished, poised, and practiced while Buffalo came out rusty, unfocused, and lazy.
Other than a quick bout of competent shooting Buffalo went to sleep for the for the first ten minutes of the game. At one point UB was up 9-5 when Javon McCrea was called for a technical after "hanging off the rim". After that EMU went on a powerful run building up a 17-10 lead by suffocating Javon McCrea down low. The Bulls perimeter shooting was terrible enough that EMU was able to allow an open three shot here and there.
Eventually, after the 10 minute mark UB stopped the bleeding but they did not turn their game around enough to close they score until under five minutes when Joshua Freelove, the first half's only reliable shooter, hit a three which he followed with a block and then an assist to Jarrod Oldham to close the gap to two points at the 4:14 mark.
At this point in the game Javon McCrea was 0-6 from the floor and 1-2 from the Charity Stripe. He would hit one more free throw as the half wound down to finish the first half with two points.
But even as Buffalo clawed back into the game their play was sloppy and their shooting was worse. It would be easy to pick on UB's shot selection but it seemed no matter where the Bulls were shooting from they ball would not fall. UB worked their way back into the game on defense and physical play, not shooting.
One that did was Will Regan's three point shot that tied the game and Freelove's that capped a 13-3 run to end the half and give UB a 32-29 half time lead. It's fitting those two players capped the half as they were tehy only Bulls to shoot better than 25% through 20 minutes.
|Da'Shonte Riley, C||0-0||0-0||0-0||1||2||3||0||1||1||0||1||0|
|Karrington Ward, F||4-5||2-3||1-2||0||4||4||0||2||0||2||1||11|
|Ray Lee, G||4-6||1-3||0-0||1||1||2||2||0||0||0||0||9|
|Mike Talley, G||0-3||0-2||0-0||0||0||0||2||1||0||1||1||0|
|Daylen Harrison, G||0-6||0-0||0-0||1||2||3||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Mo Hughley, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Glenn Bryant, F||3-6||0-0||0-0||1||2||3||0||0||0||2||1||6|
|J.R. Sims, G||1-3||1-3||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||1||3|
|Darell Combs, G||0-2||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0|
|Will Regan, F||3-6||2-2||0-0||2||3||5||0||0||0||0||0||8|
|Javon McCrea, F||0-7||0-0||2-4||5||4||9||3||0||2||1||0||2|
|Jarod Oldham, G||1-5||0-1||1-2||0||2||2||4||1||0||2||1||3|
|Jarryn Skeete, G||1-4||1-4||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||1||3|
|Joshua Freelove, G||5-9||5-8||0-0||0||1||1||0||2||1||1||1||15|
|Justin Moss, F||0-0||0-0||1-2||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||1||1|
|Xavier Ford, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Shannon Evans, G||0-1||0-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||0|