When coaches daydream about the least stressful game possible, it looks a lot like the UB Bulls Men’s Basketball team’s destruction of the Miami RedHawks on Saturday on UB’s North Campus in Amherst, NY.
Buffalo came out on with noticeably elevated energy levels and translated it to a hot early start in making their first 8 shots from the floor. They never let up and led for all but about 30 seconds when briefly down 3-2. The minutes and production were distributed liberally throughout the roster and the outcome never really felt in doubt.
Josh Mballa asserted himself early with a couple of aggressive early takes. Coach Whitesell seemed committed to some early minutes to the bench bunch as he looks to establish a rotation and clearly defined roles for the stretch run. A couple of lesser used players may have given him something to think about as R-Fr forward Davin Skogman erupted with his best performance in a Bull uniform, setting career highs in nearly every category, and Travon Fagan had his best game of the season as well. They combined for 30 points, 14 rebounds, 5 steals and a block in 42 minutes in a hugely welcome development after some recent struggles getting production from the reserves. Overall the bench accounted for 40 points and allowed the starters some well earned time off their feet down the stretch.
The seeming kismet of Skogman and Fagan having their break out games simultaneously was not lost on many, as they’ve both been through long roads to get back on the court after various ailments (Fagan a torn ACL and Skogman redshirting last year after he was diagnosed with a heart condition coming out of HS). References were made post-game to them as ‘accountability partners’ while out of commission together for long stretches.
PG Ronaldo Segu and SG Jayvon Graves may have had their best combined floor game as a backcourt combining for 16 assists against only one turnover. The Bulls had 23 assists total on 34 made baskets and only 8 turnovers.
When We Knew This One Was Over
Miami closed to within 10 at 53-43, but UB answered with a quick 7-0 spurt to re-establish control and cruised all the way home from there. At times in the second half the game resembled some open gym at the local Y, due to the margin of the game. The low anxiety level of a conference game in February, may have had the Bulls coaching staff pinching themselves.
Stats of note included career high point totals for both Skogman and Fagan and a career high assist total for Ronaldo Segu.
The Bulls look to stay hot on Tuesday afternoon against the Western Michigan Broncos in Alumni Arena at 2 pm.
One scheduling note; the home game against Toledo has been rescheduled for Friday 2/19 at 9 pm to accommodate national coverage on ESPN2.