The Bulls faced their toughest opponent of the year so far in the Old Dominion Monarchs. ODU is a top 50 team in the nation, and returns a lot of talent from last year. The Monarchs are known for solid defense and a slow, methodical pace. They create shots by good ball movement, and don't force many shots.
Not a pretty showing by the Bulls tonight.
Buffalo struggled in the early going as nothing seemed to fall for the Bulls, and everything was finding net for the Monarchs. Trey Freeman got out to a quick 13 points after 8 minutes, and the team as a whole shot 9-12 from the floor. The Monarchs held UB to just 2-13 shooting in that same time period. The Bulls quickly found themselves trying to close the gap on an 18 point lead after just 11 minutes.
Rodell Wigginton was the lone light of hope for the UB offense in the first half (If I had to find one). He had a couple of nifty moves, slipping around defenders and laying the ball off of the glass. ODU had a 4 minute scoring drought, but UB was not able to capitalize and gain any ground. Overall, UB did not respond well to ODU's above par defense, and the half ended with a 17 point defecit, 37-20.
The stat from the first half: UB only had 1 assist. Our offense, as predicted, was based on individual play, and ODU's stingy defense made this ineffective.
The 2nd half brought much of the same from both sides, as ODU opened their lead even further. UB was not able to get any consistent offense going, and ODU had a pretty good night shooting at 53.5%. If they improved their free throw shooting, this would have been even more of a blowout. Heck, they shot more efficiently from 3 point distance than free throws.
Thankfully, this game is over. However, there is little rest for UB as they head to Philadelphia to challenge St. Joes as the next game in the Tip Off Tournament. Game is scheduled for Wednesday at 7PM.