If this afternoon's thrilling win from the UB Women wasn't enough, Friday evening kept Bulls fans on the edge of their seats for a few hours longer and ultimately capped what should go down as one of the most memorable days in UB Basketball history. Until tomorrow, at least.
UB used a season-high 14 three-pointers and a defensive scheme that kept MAC Player of the Year Antonio Campbell oddly out of the low post and neutralized to roll past the Ohio Bobcats, 88-74.
UB never trailed after erasing an opening 6-0 deficit and for the large part led by double digits throughout the second half.
The three point blitz came early and often as the Bulls tied their season high just a few minutes into the second half when Blake Hamilton hit the team's 11th three of the night. The previous high had come just yesterday against Miami.
For a stretch, though, the Bulls needed everything they could get, though. UB had built up a 41-29 halftime lead that was cut to 55-47 minutes after the break as the two teams combined for eight three pointers in just over four minutes. It was an offensive blitz from both sides that never really ended and saw Ohio pull within five inside of six minutes to play before the Bulls quickly regained a double-digit lead.*
*This swoon and recovery can be directly attributed to our own Tim Riordan putting one of his daughters to bed and subsequently returning. If you are in the Minneapolis area, please take time tomorrow to deliver caffeine to Tim's daughters. Thank you.
All told, UB enjoyed a 46-36 rebounding advantage, allowed Ohio only 12 trips to the line, and led for all but four minutes - the four minutes it took to erase that deficit.
Tonight's livestats platform* was not keeping individual stats, so we have incomplete data there, but Willie Conner led UB with 22 points (Hamilton chipped in 20, Lamonte Bearden 15, and Nick Perkins 14), while Ohio found 16 from Campbell even as he underwhelmed. Bearden brought the do-everything game that's becoming increasingly the norm for him, adding 6 rebounds, and 9 assists, and 3 steals to his point total.
*SideArm, my least favorite by a long shot
With the win, Nate Oats ties Bobby Hurley for the most wins by a first-year head coach in UB history.
The UB Men join their classmates in the Women's Tournament in tomorrow's MAC Championship, where they'll face Akron, who handled bottom-seed Bowling Green 80-66 in the other semifinal earlier this evening. If you can, get to Cleveland.