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UB basketball wins two, falls to Carleton

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Typically, college basketball athletes across the U.S. use August as a time to gear up for the school year and the beginning of practice in mid-October.

Not so for the University at Buffalo Bulls, who’ve already compiled a 2-1 record in their Cross-Border Battle that the NCAA allows the team to compete in every four years. Call it coincidence, but the last time the Bulls made the preseason trip to Canada—in 2008—a MAC regular season championship ensued.

Reggie Witherspoon’s squad began the trip last Saturday with a 79-60 over the Slam All-Stars from Montreal behind Javon McCrea’s 22 points, then downed Laval University the following day 71-62 behind a 17-6-3 stat-line from junior small forward Auraum Nuiriankh.

Unfortunately for the Bulls, the squad—without graduates Mitchell Watt, Titus Robinson, Zach Filzen and Dave Barnett—couldn’t topple Carleton University, the school that’s won eight of the last 10 Canadian national championships. Carleton prevailed 77-75 despite a last-second missed three-pointer by Buffalo forward Will Regan. Nuiriankh again paced the Bulls in scoring with 14 points and four three-pointers. The Carleton Ravens only lost to the defending NCAA champion Kansas Jayhawks by one point, 84-83, in the last exhibitions in 2008.

The Bulls conclude their tour with a final game against the Brookwood Elite All-Star team at 1 p.m. today in Montreal.

The four-game trip is invaluable for a Buffalo team craving experience and chemistry, as breaking in three new starters and one key reserve doesn’t happen overnight. The trip serves as a head-start for Regan, who sat out last season after transferring in from Virginia and may be expected to start in his debut. Xavier Ford’s development continues as well, as he was used sparingly in his freshman season. Jarryn Skeete, a soon-to-be freshman point guard from Brompton, Ont., has also seen valuable burn as a reserve point guard behind incumbent starter Jarod Oldham.

(Header photo courtesy of Don Nieman from the UB Bulls loss to the Ohio Bobcats last season— full gallery here).

TAGGED: auraum nuiriankh, jarryn skeete, javon mccrea, reggie witherspoon, ub bulls, university at buffalo

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