UB won a basketball game Saturday. Below, we talk about it.
1. Get to the rim
24-42 from inside the arc and 33 additional attempts from the free throw line is a good way to succeed. The post-Witherspoon era has been defined by a series of teams who get the ball down low, and this game was an absolute archetype.
2. Wigginton and Smart
No bones about it: Ikenna hit a big wall during the three game losing streak, and in this one saw his fewest minutes since committed four fouls in the blink of an eye against EMU. Meanwhile, Rodell had a typical performance from last year - with little scoring load put on his shoulders he grabbed some rebounds, chipped in a few points, and minimized mistakes. Reports of his demise have been greatly exaggerated.
3. This team should win out
Maybe they can grab a bye with a 3-1 finish - the #4 seed did go to an 11-7 team last year - but given the teams left: Kent, Ohio, Miami, and Bowling Green, this group has got to be thinking four wins to hit the postseason strong. They've shown they're good enough to do it, have built up chemistry over the course of the season, and just need to play their game. I'll have more to say on this tomorrow.
1. It's safe to say that CJ "Buckets" is back
Earlier in MAC play it seemed that the CJ magic dried up as the same shots were no longer falling. It was kind of disappointing after seeing Massinburg go big in high profile games like at Duke. In the last seven games, the buckets machine has gone off and scored 12 or more points. Let's also not forget his fantastic 36 point effort in the loss to Ohio. CJ's success is going to be very crucial if Buffalo wants it's MAC Championship hopes alive.
2. The ability to draw fouls is most definitely the biggest part of getting a win
Bowling Green shot better than Buffalo overall and had a slightly smaller total in the rebounds column. What separated the Bulls from the falcons in this one was the ability to get to the charity stripe. The Bulls shot a nice 75% in 33 attempts. To get more than a quarter of your points from the free throw line is huge.
3. The second half energy was huge
One of things I've harped on this season was the Bulls' lack of energy on both sides of the ball. It really wasn't their for the first half as Bowling Green lead 42-38. The second half as much better and UB looked revitalized. That kind of defensive energy is what this team needs to bring home a MAC title. Buffalo played so much better on the offensive side when they were able to get a defensive stop.