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Second half spurt propels St. Bonaventure past UB


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Buffalo Bulls vs. St. Bonaventure Bonnies live-blog

Photo by Dave Marino

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Halftime—Unfortunately, due to internet connection woes, the live-blog will be unable to continue for the second half. Check Buffalo.com later this evening for a game story!

———Halftime, 31-29 Buffalo———-

:52—Vicious block on Titus Robinson by Youssou Ndoye—the Bulls’ big man didn’t go up as strong as he should have. Matthew Wright traveled after a pump-fake on a would-be final possession of the half, and then Jarod Oldham missed a pair of free throws to close the half. Not pretty at all.

1:04 —With eight team fouls on Bona, Watt will shoot one-and-one. Jake Houseknecht returns for St. Bonaventure, who’s getting perilously thin in big men who aren’t in foul trouble. Houseknecht has two personals himself.

1:11—Barnett’s out-of-rhythm jumper from the wing is no good, but Da’Quan Cook earns his third foul—a big play to look back at later—battling for the offensive board at the other end.

2:17—Mitchell Watt, unguarded from beyond the arc, launches a three—it’s no good, and the dubious out-of-bounds rule gives possession back to Bonaventure. A missed jumper, however, and UB gets it back. Watt’s running hook is no good, and Cook snares the board. Eric Mosley sweeps into the lane and craftily nets a runner. 29-29 tie.

3:21—Ndoye misses a hook-shot inside, and Watt responds quickly with a hook of his own. Both McCrea and Filzen have 10 so far—that’s Watt’s third and fourth points. Travel on Davenport for Olean—Buffalo ball.

3:30—It’s been a first half of maturation for Youssou Ndoye, the 6’11 freshman for St. Bonaventure from Dakar, Senegal. With Nicholson on the bench in foul trouble, Ndoye has surprisingly hit a mid-range jumper, but he’s also been abused in the post by a much-stronger McCrea.

4:11—Sweet hook shot by Da’Quan Cook ties the score, but Javon McCrea scores on a schoolyard bucket—it wasn’t pretty, but the one-hander banked in. Michael Davenport finishes the 13-foot fall-away, tying the game at 27. We’re at the under four timeout.

4:58—Zach Filzen’s three from the right wing brings the deficit to one! Oldham and McCrea both notch quick steals, and McCrea finger-rolls over Ndoye at the rim, plus the foul! 24-23 Buffalo, the team’s first lead in nine minutes.

6:11—Quick in-bounds pass to McCrea, and he makes no mistake scoring over Ndoye. Ndoye responds with a jumper from the free throw line! A little range from the 6’11 freshman. Javon McCrea battles for position in the post, and he’s deemed to be a little too physical, earning an offensive foul and a trip to the pine.

6:45—For a team as strong inside as Buffalo is, St. Bonaventure has won the points-in-the-paint battle 12-6 so far. Kroof sails a shot high off glass—it’s no good—and the Bulls corral the rebound. Javon McCrea crosses over in the lane, and there’s a hand-check foul on Andrew Nicholson. That’s two fouls on Nicholson, and he walks to the bench in frustration.

7:01—Filzen returns for Watson. Houseknecht re-enters, too, for Bonaventure. Kroof makes two of three. Oldham turns the ball over on an entry pass to McCrea, and Davenport sprawls on the floor to grab the ball—Mark Schmidt, the Bona head coach, alertly signals for a timeout.

7:23—McCrea establishes great inside position on the block against Nicholson, and the Bonaventure forward is forced to foul him. McCrea knocks down the second after missing the first. Charlon Kroof hoists a three from the left wing against the Bulls’ zone, and Tony Watson II inexplicably fouls Kroof, and Watson II is immediately pulled from the lineup. Kroof sinks the first of three shots from the line.

7:32—Interestingly for Section VI HS basketball fans, Zach Moore, the Olean Husky who helped the high school win the state title four years ago, is walking on with the Bonaventure basketball team as a fifth year senior.

8:15—Youssou Ndoye whips an inbounds pass out of bounds, and True Blue chants “fundamentals!” at him. Mitchell Watt tries a 19 footer, and it bangs off the front rim. Davenport has runner bounce off the rim, and Nicholson’s offensive board is stripped away from him. Under eight timeout, 19-16 St. Bonaventure.

8:41—Filzen and Robinson head to the bench, and McCrea and Oldham return. Charlon Kroof, Conger and Cook come back into the lineup for Bonaventure. Davenport hits one of two from the stripe. Mitchell Watt dribbles hard to the rim and flips in a layup!

9:04—Nicholson’s caught fire—he slipped unnoticed to the left elbow and smoothly stroked a jumper. 18-14 Bona. Turnover by Watt, and Michael Davenport is fouled in transition. Two shots for the senior guard.

10:05—Eric Mosley, double-teamed in the backcourt, slips between the two defenders and lobs a perfect pass to Nicholson for the dunk. Four quick points for the Bona’s star. Filzen tries to reply with a three, but it’s no good, and Watson II misses a trey off a Watt offensive rebound.

11:06—Reverse layup by Zach Filzen in the trees! Tough drive in the lay-in and a mild layup miss by Matthew Wright is cleaned up by Nicholson, who converts on the weakside put-back. Nuiriankh misses a jumper around a screen, and Ndoye swallows the rebound.

11:17—Nicholson has been invisible so far for St. Bonaventure. No shots, one turnover, six minutes. Conger and Cook has been aggressive inside, and Mosley’s lent plenty of energy off the bench—perhaps his demotion lit a fire under him.

11:17—Nuiriankh drives baseline strong and draws a blocking foul on Da’Quan Cook, his second. Good aggression by UB’s sophomore swingman. Under 12 timeout, 12-12 tie.

11:54—Tony Watson II snags a loose ball and hands to Filzen, who hoists a triple without hesitation—it’s good! Matthew Wright tries to match from the right wing, but his shot is long—TWII with the board.

12:15—Literally every shot is being challenged at the rim—both teams have great length and intensity in the post. Eric Mosley is at the line, and he knocks down the first. 10-9 Bonnies. Watt and Auraum Nuiriankh enter the lineup for Buffalo.

13:03—Tony Watson II misses a three, and Bonaventure pushes the tempo again. Mosley quickly shuffles a pass over to Conger for a ferocious jam. Barnett misses a jumper from 17, and Bonaventure comes away again. Mosley fakes a shot and finds Cook in the block—his shot is smothered by McCrea, however.

13:57—Ndoye is awarded a foul in the post—a reach-in. Tony Watson II in the game for the Bulls. Zach Filzen sinks a jumper from the right corner, but Da’Quan Cook responds with a jam—poor interior defense by Buffalo.

14:19—Titus Robinson drills the first free throw for Buffalo after the media break. Five of UB’s six points have come on second chance opportunities. Second throw is good for Robinson too.

14:19—The adrenaline is really flowing for both teams, and Buffalo’s head coach Reggie Witherspoon has been preaching all season long to harness the energy. It’s not being harnessed tonight, and Buffalo’s already missed three emphatic dunk attempts.

15:08—Dave Barnett drives past Mosley and misses the dunk—Buffalo grabs the offensive board, however, and Jarod Oldham sinks a three as he falls to the floor in the left corner. 6-5 Bonaventure. Mosley tries to answer with a trey of his own, but it’s no good, and McCrea tears down another strong rebound. Jake Houseknecht picks up a foul on McCrea, and at the under 16 timeout, it’s 6-5 Bonaventure.

16:19—Jake Houseknecht enters for St. Bonaventure, Titus Robinson for UB. Houseknecht blocks Filzen’s lay-in, and Bona runs the floor hard to score on a Conger put-back at the other end. Good transition offense by Bonaventure—it’s 6-2 Bonnies and Reggie Witherspoon motions for a timeout.

16:19—Demitrius Conger wins the battle for the rebound after a Filzen miss—Conger sprints down the floor with Watt trailing. It looks like Watt has another thunderous block, but he’s whistled for a foul. Conger will shoot two.

17:05 —Conger tries to challenge Watt at the rim, and he’s flatly rejected. McCrea tries to respond with a posterization of his own, but it caroms high off the back rim. Second turnover by Nicholson, and Buffalo takes over.

18:14 —Terrific 30 seconds by the Bonnies—Charlon Kroof made up for a turnover by blocking an Oldham fast break attempt, then Matthew Wright dribbled inside and scooped a shot to McCrea’s right—that’s good! McCrea misses a gimme under his own hoop but manages to collect a rebound and score on the put-back. 2-2 tie.

18:55 —Javon McCrea lopes to the hoop with four on the shot clock—he’s fouled by Da’Quan Cook—non-shooting foul. Watt’s hook off the inbounds is no good, and Bonnies come away with the ball.

19:40—Conger pulls down an offensive board after a Cook miss from the corner. Nicholson dribbles into traffic, stumbles, and gives the ball up to Barnett. Oldham drives into the lane and drives to slip a bounce pass to McCrea, but it’s knocked out of bounds.

20:00 —Kloof earns starting spot for Bona after scoring 11 points Thursday against Arkansas State.

20:00—Touching moment of silence before the national anthem in honor of The Buffalo News’ sports writer Allen Wilson, who lost his battle with leukemia earlier today. A well-respected man in many circles, Wilson will be missed dearly by the Buffalo media community.

20:00—Huge starting lineup shake-up by the Bonnies—Matthew Wright and Charlon Kroof replace Davenport and Mosley in the first five for St. Bonaventure.

Pre-game—Nicholson’s supporting cast has come under fire, particularly because they’ve struggled to find their star big man against zone defenses. Eric Mosley, Demitrius Conger, Michael Davenport and Da’Quan Cook round out the starting lineup—only Conger averages double-figures in that bunch.

Pre-game—The Bulls’ two talented big men, senior center Mitchell Watt and sophomore forward Javon McCrea, both average between 14 and 16 points per game and over seven rebounds. Filzen, Jarod Oldham and Dave Barnett round out the starting five.

Pre-game—Nicholson has struggled so far in his senior season, however, partially due to bronchitis. He’s seen his scoring dip in each of his five games—he opened the season with 24 against Cornell and hasn’t matched that total since. Against Arkansas State on Thursday, Nicholson only mustered six points, and he’s struggled mightily against 2-3 zones this year.

Pre-game—The Bonnies’ beacon of hope, center Andrew Nicholson, is projected as a late first round pick in this year’s NBA Draft. NBADraft.net has him at #33—the beginning of the second round—but regardless, he’s the first Big 4 player to get serious draft buzz since Mike Smrek, the Canisius big man in 1985.

Pre-game—The University at Buffalo was widely considered an underdog to the A-10’s Dayton Flyers, the winner of the Old Spice Classic. Undaunted, Reggie Witherspoon’s club rolled into UD Arena and spanked the Flyers by 29, 84-55. Zach Filzen woke up from his slumber by hitting six threes and tallying 24 points in the win.

TAGGED: atlantic 10, buffalo bulls, mac, st. bonaventure bonnies, ub basketball, university at buffalo

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