|Game 15: Buffalo (10-4, 1-1) vs NIU (7-6, 1-1)|
|Date - January 14th||Last Meeting (2014): UB 75 - NIU 67|
|Time - 7:00 PM
||MAC Record 1-1|
|Venue - Alumni Arena||Opponent Rankings - RPI (194)|
After getting bucked in Kalamazoo it's time for UB to see if they can get back on the horse.... errr on the dog.
Buffalo had perhaps their worst shooting day of the Bobby Hurley Era and that combined with an uncharacteristically poor job in the paint led to a Bulls defeat against Western Michigan. Several times in the second half UB pulled within five or six, but could never get over the hump and make it a one-possession game
NIU's Last Time Out
It looks like Mark Montgomery has finally started to get traction in his quest to bring NIU out of the MAC's basement. The Huskies still have a ways to go but last season they finished 8-10 in conference play and this year NIU managed a winning record out of conference play for the first time since Brian Hammel coached the Huskies to a 6-5 record back in the mid-1990's.
They got there by taking care of business against the bad teams on their schedule; their only huge letdown was a 55-58 decision on the road against Dartmouth.
NIU is a fine shooting team, going 53 percent from the floor, but they are also very solid on the boards when they miss. Jordan Threloff leads NIU with eight rebounds per game and half of those come on the offensive glass. His teammates chip in nearly 10 more offensive rebounds per game, putting them at 9th in the nation per Statsheet.com
On defense Aaric Armstead and Travon Baker lead NIU with 21 and 19 steals respectively. As a team NIU has 8.4 steals per game.
UB can capitalize on NIU's propensity to turn the ball over but the Huskies' advantage in most of the "four factors" means this may be a closer game than many Bulls fans would like. It's very important that the Bulls establish themselves on the glass early and stay there throughout the game.
Will Regan might be the X-factor in this game. The Senior is third on the team in defensive rebounds behind Moss and Ford and has a few times this season been the guy who makes the big shot to end an opponent's run.
UB's last 60 minutes of basketball have not been their best of the season, not even close. If the Bulls want to win their second straight MAC East title these are the games which they need to have.