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Temple Owls vs. University at Buffalo Bulls - LIVE BLOG

UB faces an undefeated Temple squad on Wednesday night.

blog by Ben Kirst  • 

Pregame: Welcome to the Temple Owls - University at Buffalo Bulls men’s basketball live blog! I’m filling in for Ben Tsujimoto, who has athletic endeavors of his own to pursue this evening. Get ready for a lot of red-hot basketball commentary and plenty of misspelled words.

Pregame: Tonight’s contest is getting started a little late because the UB women’s game with visiting Duquesne went long. A little too long for the Bulls—the Dukes hung a 78-52 loss on their hostesses. Ouch. The ladies fell to 1-6 on the season.

Pregame: The Bulls’ starting lineup for tonight consists of Jarod Oldham (G), Corey Raley-Ross (G), Auraum Nuiriankh (G/F), Javon McCrea (F) and Will Regan (F). A 25-point game will give McCrea 1,000 points for his UB career. The Bulls are averaging 62 points per game and are led by McCrea, who has been scoring at a pace of 17 ppg. McCrea also averages 6.1 rebounds per contest. Oldham has 26 assists to lead the team, and fellow guard Tony Watson II is knocking down his three-point attempts at a .571 clip (8-for-14).

Pregame: UB is 2-5 on the season, with wins coming over Evansville and Division II Mansfield. Temple, a member of the Atlantic 10 conference, is 3-0 and received votes in the most recent AP Top 25 poll. Ben Tsujimoto reports that “...Fran Dunphy’s team puts up almost 80 points per game and boasts three terrific seniors in Scootie Randall, Khalif Wyatt and Rahir Hollis-Jefferson…Randall, who missed all of last season due to a knee injury, has exploded back into form this year, averaging 22 points and eight rebounds through the first trio of games.” Tsujimoto also predicts this game will be “humbling” for the Bulls. Hopefully they don’t need to be humbled too badly after beating a D-2 team in their last outing! Good teams don’t hang their hat on Mansfield.

Pregame:Temple is wearing red uniforms wih white numbers, a white “Temple” stenciled across the chest and red socks with a single white vertical stripe. The Bulls are in their home whites with blue trim.

Pregame:Starters for the Owls include Wyatt, Hollis-Jefferson, Anthony Lee, Randall and Will Cummins.

19:33: Oof—Randall’s three attempt from the left corner hits the side of the backboard. On the Buffalo end, Will Regan suffers from multiple blocks. An inauspicious start for both teams.

18:40: Regan takes his first foul for a two-handed clearout on a missed Owls shot. On the ensuing inbound, Lee throws down a two-handed dunk.

18:02: Wyatt drives into the paint and picks up an offensive foul despite getting contact from Oldham (it appeared) in the air. Wyatt is not pleased, and tells the ref.

Pregame:Temple is wearing red uniforms with white numbers, a white “Temple” stenciled across the chest and red socks with a single white vertical stripe. The Bulls are in their home whites with blue trim.

17:17: McCrea knocks down a 10-footer for the first UB points of the game….but then he misses a dunk following a nice steal. “Sometimes a layup is as good as a dunk,” the kid next to me remarks. Tony Watson II in the game.

16:19: Randall—a Temple big man—has nice ball skills, showing off a little between-the-legs move and running the point for a possession. Xavier Ford in the game for UB. Lee gets blocked by Ford, but gets his own rebound and scores. 4-2, Temple.

15:18: Media timeout. Some nice defense by UB so far, including blocks by Ford and just-entered-the-game Cam Downing—but the offense is ice cold. The Bulls aren’t even getting decent shots, and McCrea is the only player who looks engaged in the attacking end. It’s tough—Temple is big and fast, but the Bulls need to get some kind of flow or this could get ugly. You know the Owls will heat up soon.

14:11: After a Lee bucket, the Bulls pass around the perimeter until the shot clock is close to expiring and Watson misses a three. No rebound. Lee is fouled on the ensuing possession, hits a free throw, and Temple is up 7-2.

13:15: Ford takes a most unconfident 19-footer—the worst shot in basketball, it’s sometimes called, because it’s as far as you can get from the bucket without shooting a three. McCrea picks up a loose-ball foul, which is bad news—he can’t get in foul trouble tonight. A Cummings layup pushes the Temple lead to 9-2.

12:27: Ford hits the floor and tussles with Hollis-Jefferson for a loose ball. Nice hustle!

11:54: Wyatt absolutely undresses Ford on a drive-and-steal, then feeds Randall for a transition layup. Yikes. Ford is having a rough shift here in the first half. 11-2, Temple. Here’s the hotness, folks.

11:12: Leaders so far—Lee has six points; Hollis-Jefferson has four boards; Cummings and Oldham each have an assist.

10:00: Gorgeous fadeaway in the paint by Wyatt—13-2, Temple. Not a good start for the Bulls. Temple has its first round of subs in the game. TJ DiLeo (G), Jake O’Brien (F), Dalton Pepper (G).

8:51: Three for Tony Watson! There’s something. 13-5, Owls.

8:25: Three from the corner by Wyatt with Nuiriankh in his face. Nice shot. 16-5, Temple.

7:42: The Bulls are a miserable 2-for-18 (-for-7 three) from the field. That’s 11.1 percent, gang. The last time UB shot under 40 percent? Why, just a week or so ago in a Nov. 17 loss to Yale.

7:40: Nuiriankh hits a three! Unfortunately, Cummings answers with a kiss of the glass from 10 feet, however, and it’s 18-8, Temple. Unbelievably, the Bulls are still in this game.

6:42: The unfortunately-named Jarryn Skeete misses a three for UB.

5:47: The shoes were squeaking on a great defensive stand by the Owls, who pinned the Bulls outside until Will Regan forced a jump-hook with two seconds on the shot clock. Hollis-Jefferson draws an over-the-back foul on Nuiriankh, hits two free throws—Temple is in the first round of the bonus—and it’s 20-8, Owls.

4:53: Long possession by the Bulls results in a Watson airball (tipped out by the Owls) with three seconds on the shot clock. The Bulls subsequently throw the ball away when McCrea slips, falls and misses his pass. You can’t make this stuff up.

4:38: Temple whisteld for traveling, and Coach Dunphy responds with a delightful Bronx cheer, punctuated by loud, sarcastic clapping in the nearest official’s ear. “YEAH! BAD CALL! YEAH!” Oh, Fran.

4:15: After McCrea is tossed to the ground in mid-shot (no call), the Owls transition for a quick layup. 22-8, Temple.

3:41: Media timeout. Not a bad crowd tonight—looks about three-quarters full at Alumni Arena, but silent as the grave at the moment. And why not? The Bulls are 3-for-23 (2-for-10) from the field. That’s 13 percent! Sadly, that’s an improvement from our last break. Temple is 9-for-20 from the field (1-for-8 from three). Hollis-Jefferson hits two free throws after a foul by Downing, and it’s 24-8—until Downing answers with a layup, cutting the lead to 24-10.

3:14: Play is stopped after Hollis-Jefferson catches Regan in the left eye and draws blood—Regan crumples to the floor, bleeding visibly. The crowd gasps. UB Coach Reggie Witherspoon has a chat with the officials, wondering, perhaps, why there was no flagrant foul called. Regan was high in the post on defense when the foul occurred, and it did look incidental—but make no mistake, the tall, muscled Hollis-Jefferson is no pansy.

The call is changed to a flagrant-1, and Watson hits two free throws. Well, then. 24-12, Temple. I’ll write it again—the Bulls are in this game.

2:58: McCrea “bulls” through the paint for a layup—24-14, Owls.

1:38: Nice running bank shot by Quentin DeCosey, who goes over Downing—Downing, who is waging a war in the paint with Lee. Lost that time. O’Brien hits a three on the next Temple possession after a UB turnover and it’s 29-14, Owls. Downing, however, gets some belated revenge at the 0:26.2 mark, popping free for a rolling layup, and the Bulls remain within striking distance at 29-16.

0:00: Running the clock down to six seconds, Cummings hangs out at the top of the three-point arc and then lofts an alley-oop to Lee, who catches the pass and flips in a mid-air layup. 31-16, Temple. The Bulls inbound but Nuiriankh can’t get off a clean shot as the first half expires. As so ends a very ugly half of basketball, folks.

Halftime: i would have written more, but I was just distracted by an amazing dog show. Yes, you read that right.

The Bulls are shooting 6-for-26 from the field, a cool 23 percent. They have also shot just two free throws—but made both of them! Seems a tad low, refs. McCrea has four points to lead UB, and Oldham has three assists. Regan has grabbed three boards but has been generally ineffective. The Bulls have been decent on defense—not like Temple is running away here—but UB just. Can not. Score.

Lee has eight points to pace the Owls. Hollis-Jefferson has five rebounds. Temple actually has more turnovers (10) than the Bulls (nine), but the Owls are shooting 12-of-24 from the field (2-of-9 from three) and that, my friends, has been all the difference.

That dog show was awesome. These dogs were running around on their hind legs and skipping rope like no one’s business. Check them out—the Olate dogs. They were on America’s Got Talent. I tried to shoot video on my phone, but managed to record five seconds of my keyboard before accidentally turning it off. TECHNOLOGY. Oh well.


Second half

18:59: Will Regan—good position under the hoop, takes a feed from Oldham, turns for two. 31-18, Owls. Nice work by Regan, who cut his forehead, not his eye. I may have given that impression earlier.

17:51: Foul on Nuiriankh on the Temple end after UB ran the shot clock to zero before Regan lofted an air ball. We’re back to normal. Nice swipe by Oldham on the defensive end, though, and it’s UB ball once again.

17:15: McCrea drops in a turnaround layup. 31-20, Temple.

16:32: McCrea has a nice block on the driving Wyatt. McCrea grabs a board on a Wyatt miss a moment later…but UN throws the ball away, and Wyatt lofts a sweet alley-up for a aRandell dunk on the ensuing transition. 33-20, Temple.

15:51: Watson feeds McCrea in the low left post and McCrea spins to bank in a layup, drawing a foul in the process on Lee. That’s two on Lee. We go into the media timeout, Owls up by 11, 33-22, McCrea to shoot after the break.

15:49: McCrea miss, but UB maintains possession…and Nuiriankh misses a three. He is 1-for-5 from downtown.

14:45: The Bulls run the shot clock down to zero…and Oldham’s three from the arc hits the back of the backboard. I mean literally, the back of the backboard. Ugly. Randall draws a foul on Tony Watson on a drive up the left baseline, UB’s third.

13:49: Ill-advised three attempt from the corner by the Bulls’ Rafell Thomas-Edwards. Nice one-handed board on the other end over Randall, though.

12:44: The brutal shooting continues. DeCosey misses a pair of layups, ball is knocked out of bounds off some UB feet…Oldham picks up a foul on a Cummings drive…Wyatt hits an off-balance three. Gack. 36-22, Temple.

12:13: DeCosey knocks down a transition jumper after another Buffalo turnover—it’s 38-22, Temple, and after lingering for a bit longer than they deserved, the Bulls may finally be dead.

11:49: Another DeCosey layup. Temple not getting challenged at the basket. What are you, Downing? Ford? McCrea is knocking himself out on the offensive end, skidding and elbowing his way to loose balls—his teammates seem less excited about mixing it up with the bigger, stronger Owls. Or, in fairness, maybe the bigger, stronger Owls just make it look that way. 40-22, Temple.

10:24: Xavier Ford’s layup brings the Bulls back within 40-24. The Bulls collect a Temple turnover, but subsequently lose possession on a tie-up after running the shot clock down to five. Nobody said it was easy.

9:55: Owls’ DeCosey shoots an airball from the corner. Disheartened True Blue student section can barely muster the obligatory “aiiiiiiirball” chant.

9:19: Nice post move by Regan between two Temple defenders, cutting from the baseline and spinning to the bucket. He misses the layup. That kind of night.

9:07: Cummings on the line, shooting for Wyatt, who was cut and needed to go to the bench for treatment. Doesn’t look bad. Cummings hits 1-of-2 and the Owls’ lead is 41-24.

8:03: Tony Watson does a nice job when he is forced to pick up Randall. Well-undersized, Watson hangs in against Randall as the Temple forward receives the post feed, sets his feet and promptly bulls into the UB guard. Randell misses, McCrea grabs the board. Small victories.

7:03: Anthony Lee drops a nasty two-handed dunk. 43-24, Owls. McCrea responds with a basket—that’s 10 points on 5-for-14 shooting from the field, and he has had a tough go of it tonight. McCrea has had several nice moves to the hoop, only to see his shots roll around the rim and dance out. Basketball can be cruel some nights!

6:12: Regan knocks down a three from the top left arc—it’s 43-29, Temple. A sign of life? Nope—Cummings goes backdoor for a layup on the ensuing Owls possession. It’s 45-29 in favor of the visitors.

5:18: Regan picks up two quick fouls (three for the night), the second sending Hollis-Jefferson to the line. Hollis-Jefferson hits both, and it’s 47-29, Temple.

4:38: McCrea finally gets a break. After UB turns the ball over in the offensive zone, Oldham steals it right back and—as he falls out of bounds—feeds McCrea for a wide-open dunk. 47-31, Temple—and a Regan basket a moment later cuts the score to 47-33 at the 3:32 mark. UB is two three-pointers away from kind of, sort of being back in this game.

3:03: UB forces a Hollis-Jefferson miss, but Regan gets blocked and then has the ball tied up under the Temple basket. The Bulls will retain possession, but it has been no fun to be Will Regan tonight.

2:50: Watson foul on diLeo sends the backup guard to the line for two. Misses the first, hits the second and it’s 48-33, Owls.

2:31: Regan gets the inadvertent assist when he moves towards the basket at the Bulls foul line, gets stripped and the ball rolls to McCrea under the basket. McCrea uses his mighty wing span to lay in a bank shot, and the hope for a miracle of miracles in alive at 48-35, Temple.

1:45: Oof—Watson misses a three that would have cut the lead to 10. Instead, the shot from the top of the arc rolls out, Temple rebounds and DiLeo ends up at the line, hitting both. 50-35, Owls.

1:28: Timeout on the floor. Hollis-Jefferson may be the sweatiest basketball player I have ever seen—he is literally soaked from the collar of his jersey to the seat of his pants. it looks like he was laying in a puddle. Also, hearing PA Brad Riter pronounce “Sebuharara” when Richie Sebuharara enters the game for the Bulls is delightful.

1:09: Another timeout after Regan scores on an Oldham assist. 50-37, Temple. Probably not going to happen for the Bulls tonight. But still…

53.8: DiLeo to the line again. Hits the first, hits the second. 52-37, Temple. Line of the night: Dunphy complaining to the ref about the foul call not coming early enough, and the ref—an elderly gent who looks like someone who was in my grandfather’s bowling league—tells the Temple coach, “What do you want me to say? I missed it.”

39.5: Cummings hits two free throws, giving the Owls a 54-37 lead.

0:00: A late Oldham runner completes the scoring as the Bulls fall, 54-39, in a game that wasn’t even as close as a double-digit loss would suggest. To steal a phrase from Seth Greenberg, “THEY COULD NOT SCORE THE BASKETBALL.” That is problematic.

Postgame: The Bulls finish 17-of-52 from the field (3-of-16 from three) for a whopping field goal percentage of 32.7 percent. UB shoots a grand total of three free throws on the evening, making two. McCrea has 14 pointson 7-of-16 shooting. Oldham has seven assists. Watson leads the team with six rebounds. That is not a good thing.

Temple finished an icy 18-of-51 from the field, which is good for 35 percent. The Owls were 3-of-14 from three—the Bulls did have a decent night on defense, I suppose. Lee scored 10 to pace the visitors and added seven rebounds, tying Hollis-Jefferson for the team lead. Cummings had three steals and two assists.

All in all, a forgettable night for both team. The Owls improve to 4-0, which is all that really matters for them. The Bulls sink to 2-6, although Mid-American Conference play is really their main concern. Cross your fingers, people. I’ll see you the next time Tsujimoto takes a personal day.

TAGGED: alumni arena, live blog, ncaa, temple owls, ub bulls basketball, university at buffalo

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