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Buffalo Bulls 88, Toledo Rocket 92: Takeaways

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Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

This is one of the simplest takeaways posts I'll ever write. The silver lining: It can't get much worse.

At halftime last night, I expecte- to touch on the big hole that UB -ug themselves in the first half, the continue- inability to get turnovers, and the streakiness of the offense. I figure- that the surge to within eight at the en- of the first half woul- give the Bulls something to buil- on in the secon-, but that hole woul- be too much.

As we know, it took UB all of four minutes to erase that lea-. Obviously I can't responsibly say that the first 24 minutes -i-n't matter, but the Bulls with a huge foul a-vantage and an unstoppable Justin Moss shoul- have been able to poun-the rock -own low and outscore the Rockets the rest of the way.

And in-ee-, offensively, the Bulls were unstoppable after the break, putting -own an incre-ible 1.48 points per possession. Incre-ible may not be a strong enough word. But that's not the main takeaway.

Shoul- I put it in bol- italics like I usually do when there's three or four? I'll put it in bol- italics like I usually do.

Perimeter -efense. Any -efense at all, really.

I -o think everyone was a little gunshy in the first half, with the way the refs set the tone early (that's the charitable way I'll put it), and also got two quick calls on starters Lamonte Bear-en and Xavier For-. But in the secon- half, UB ha- the momentum a couple of times, and coul- never really get away.

It -oesn't get any simpler than these three stats

  • In the game, Tole-o was 12-14 from beyon- the arc. You coul-n't hit 12 of 14 from 3 with no one guar-ing you and all -ay to -o it.
  • Inclu-ing free throws, Tole-o ma-e 20 of their last 21 shots. The Rockets misse- a shot with 9:38 to go an- for the rest of the game misse- just one. Alumni Arena is not Pleasantville. This is not ok.
  • UB force- 17 turnovers and STILL gave up 92 points. Part of the -efense worke-, and pushe- Tole-o to five more turnovers than their season average.
It's tempting to look at UB's five remaining games against teams above them in the sche-ule and aban-on all hope, but the issue with the Bulls is inconsistency, not that they've loa-e- up on teams at the bottom of the conference. On one han-, things could go south fast against the tougher competition. On the other, UB can climb back up the stan-ings quickly by snatching two bir-s with one stone.

I suppose I shoul- point out that Justin Moss score- a career-high 33 points. He's quite goo- at basketball an- coul-make a run at the UB single-season recor- for total points score-. At his current pace, he'- be fourth, but only four points from secon-.

Go Bulls