For our loyal readers, you’ll recall the theme of the previous game recap was the trend that continued of losing a closely contested game in the final minutes to a team in the upper half of the MAC standings.
This article has a deja vu feeling as well, but for a different reason.
The UB Men’s Basketball team returned to the form of the three games prior to the frustrating loss to Toledo, blowing out another MAC bottom dweller, never trailing, and getting everyone (who’s healthy) on the roster into the game. Contributions abounded up and down the lineup and the starters minutes were conserved in preparation for the gauntlet they started running today.
When We Knew It Was Decided
After chartering to DeKalb, the team rebounded from the previous outing, showing good early energy and execution in jumping out to a large lead they would not surrender. Josh Mballa had a double double by halftime and the Bulls consciously eschewed the deep ball and attacked the rim relentlessly, ultimately ending up with more points in the paint than NIU had overall, highlighted by some rim rattling throwdowns. A baseline take and two hander from David Skogman was especially good to see as he continues to evolve his game.
Laquill Hardnett set a new career high with 16 points in continuing his highly efficient offensive production, even hitting a three for the second game in a row. Ronaldo Segu seemed much calmer at the point than he had played against the Rockets. It’s possible he made too much of the game (and the matchup with Marreon Jackson) and pressed instead of letting the game come to him. He was more patient tonight and, hopefully, is better for the experience.
Overall the Bulls scored 51 points in each half on 56% shooting overall. They outrebounded the Huskies 55-25 and even went 15-18 from the charity stripe. If this team ever starts knocking down the three ball at a higher clip, their ceiling would be difficult to define.
In another good sign, Brock Bertram made his return after missing the last handful of games. Although his minutes were limited, he has a good effect on the team and any contributions they can get from him down the stretch will benefit them. Keishawn Brewton remained sidelined.
The Bulls will keep a busy week going, returning to action for a Thursday matinee at 2pm in Alumni Arena against the Central Michigan Chippewas before playing at 2pm again Saturday in Athens, against the Bobcats of Ohio University.
One other scheduling note; the final game of the regular season against Kent St on Friday March 5 was picked up on ESPNU and will tip at 6pm.