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UB vs. Mansfield - LIVE BLOG

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

——————Final, UB 76-57——————

:14—Becoats scores a floater, and that’ll do it for tonight’s game. A win is a win, I guess.

2:27—Kenny Johnson at the line for Mansfield—he hits one of two. Andre McPhail with yet another good hustle play, keeping a defensive play alive and forcing a tie-up. Becoats drains a three from the left wing after a missed jumper by Xavier Ford—which sends Witherspoon back to his seat, shaking his head. Xavier’s development has been slower than desired, I’m afraid.

3:46—Utti bangs in his first free throw and swishes the second, too. Kevonte McClain replaces Utti in the lineup for the Mountaineers, who trail by 27. Nuiriankh fakes his cut to the ball and darts baseline, and Parzych is forced to grab him. Nuiriankh will shoot the one-and-one, and he misses the front end. Good steal and communication by Oldham and Xavier Ford, as the big man found the point guard streaking to the tin after an effective double-team forced a turnover.

3:46—Under four timeout, 74-45 Bulls.

4:09—Xavier Ford tips in a Regan miss—absolutely no one was there to box out the lanky swingman. Taijay Williams even admitted an over-and-back, but it wasn’t called by the officials—Reggie Witherspoon sprinted outside his coaches box, but now he’s laughing with the referee during the media timeout.

5:10—Mansfield has hoisted several threes in the second half, trying to climb back in the game in a hurry. Charge taken by Kamil Parzych, but it’s overruled and deemed a block by the baseline official. McPhail’s bucket is good, plus the foul. His bullet of a free throw hits the back rim and falls through. Missed runner by Bowman for Mansfield, and Oldham rips down the board. Big round of applause for McPhail, who heads to the bench after his three-point play and a dive to the floor on defense.

5:35—Two missed threes on the last possession by Raley-Ross, an offensive board by McPhail and another missed three by Oldham, which caroms high off the top of the backboard, ends a trip in ugly fashion. Reggie Witherspoon exchanges some words with one of the referees, and it sounded awfully sarcastic and not particularly nice. Timeout on the floor, 69-45 UB still.

6:10—Under eight timeout, 69-45 Buffalo. This one hasn’t been in doubt since mid-first half, but it’s been good seasoning for Jarryn Skeete, Richie Sebuharara, Raphell Thomas-Edwards and now Andre McPhail. This game is definitely not meaningless, even if it’s not the most enticing game we’ve seen at Alumni.

8:13—Good entry from Kevonte McClain to Joe Bell is wasted, as Bell shuffles his feet after collecting the pass. McPhail misses a gimme at the left of the rim, and Mansfield careens the other way. Parzych throws up a bizarre 30-footer, and it’s not even close. The backboard is still shuddering in fright. Jarryn Skeete heaves a trey from the left corner—that won’t fall. Step-back three from McClain is short, and Skeete snares another board. Regan squanders a chance from in close—he left it short—and Parzych sprints down the floor and lays the ball in off-glass.

9:22—Andre McPhail, a UB freshman, checks in for the first time. He’s so excited to enter the game that he gives McCrea a quick lower of the shoulder, and a surprised McCrea gives him a little glare. Charge on McPhail is taken by Parzych, perhaps a make-up call on the block whistled earlier. Corey Raley-Ross replaces Sebuharara.

11:08—Regan sinks one of two from the stripe. Good effort by Kevonte McClain to keep the play alive for Mansfield, and Tremaine Bowman punctuates it with a three-ball in his first minutes of the night. Skeete finds Regan lurking outside the three-point arc, however, and the big man drains the triple. 69-41. Parzych cuts to the basket, receives a chest pass but can’t finish. He must have heard McCrea’s footsteps.

11:08—Under 12 timeout, 65-38 Bulls. Victor E. Bull is showing off quite the strut as he returns to the sideline. It’s always fun to guess whether Victor is a boy or girl.

11:21—Missed three by Skeete—he may have the most effortless stroke on the team—but he redeems himself with a strong board at the opposite end. Regan earns another favorable block foul against Kamil Parzych, who was planted in the restricted area below the basket. Rich Miller is not a happy camper.

12:40—Regan returns for Downing, who just finished his best shift of the season. Javon McCrea scuttles out to the perimeter, snags a steal, dribbles between his legs and dumps the ball off to Skeete. That was pretty, but then he commits a loose ball foul at the other end after a terrible Skeete lob. Skeete gets some praise from Witherspoon after picking up a foul, hearing a “show your hands next time!” from his coach.

13:37 —Nice look ahead by Skeete to Downing, who catches the pass, plants his feet and tosses in a shot off the glass. Sebuharara’s three is an airball, but it goes right to Downing, who makes the world’s easiest reverse lay-in. Mansfield is simply falling apart offensively now, as unforced turnovers are flying in left and right. Sebuharara drives right and draws a foul on Taijay Williams.

14:34—Onyema Utti draws a foul and knocks both free throws down. 3/4 court press from the Mountaineers now is easily broken by Skeete. A bucket and the foul for Thomas-Edwards, who bulldozed through Charles Becoats and banked in a shot off the glass. Impressive display of strength from RTE, and we’re just glad he didn’t pull up for another awkward 18-footer. 59-38 Buffalo.

15:33—Utti gets trapped in the corner, and he’s fortunate to retain possession off a UB defender. Joe Bell bricks a long three with the shot clock winding down, but Corey Raley-Ross is out-jumped for the rebound, and Taijay Williams sails to the rim for a left-handed layin. Three seconds on Cam Downing, who is still rather immobile.

15:54—Foul on Auraum Nuiriankh for a hand-check, and that brings us to the under 16 timeout of the second half. 56-34 University at Buffalo.

16:05—Auraum Nuiriankh uses a ball-fake to his advantage, scooting by his defender and drawing a blocking foul on Onyema Utti. Utti slaps the floor in frustrating, thinking the foul should have been a charge on the UB junior. Auraum hits one of two.

17:21—Joe Bell responds with a nifty 15-footer from the right elbow. Becoats rejects Oldham’s layup attempt from under the rim, but McCrea is first to the rebound, scores off the window and draws a foul on redshirt freshman Kenny Johnson. Will Regan suffered a cut on his neck and is being attended to. Reggie Witherspoon appeals a handcheck call on Javon McCrea—that’s his second. Becoats rains a three over Oldham, who was stuck on the ground and failed to contest the shot. 55-34 UB.

19:40—Corey Raley-Ross misses a three-ball to begin the second half, and Mansfield tracks down the long rebound. Charles Becoats bricks a three, and it’s just a one-shot trip down the floor for Miller’s Mountaineers. Nuiriankh clangs a three and Mansfield snares the board. Utti attempts a three after McCrea slips, but that’s off the front rim, the backboard and out. Ugly UB turnover, and then Jarod Oldham draws the charge. Regan backs down his defender in the lane and floats in a left-handed hook shot.

Halftime—No warm-up before the second half for Mansfield, as the Mountaineers return from the locker room with just under a minute remaining in the intermission. UB spent about three or four minutes on the floor.

Halftime—UB’s shooting a cool 57% from the floor in the first half, including 6-12 from downtown. 11 points for McCrea, nine from Regan and eight for Nuiriankh. 16 assists and only five turnovers for UB. Joe Bell leads Mansfield with nine points while Chuck Harper has chimed in with eight.

Halftime—UB has a “slam ball” version of a trampoline dunk team, and it’s actually incredibly entertaining. It’s not going as smoothly as they’d like, but the fivesome is getting some excellent air on their jumps, and the double between-the-legs “Vince Carter” was supremely impressive.

————Halftime, 50-29 Buffalo————-

:31 —UB struggles mightily to get its last shot off before the half, but Corey Raley-Ross flips a pass from his back to Oldham, who’s wide open in the left corner. His three is good, but it’s just after the buzzer sounds. Reggie Witherspoon leaves the floor grinning from ear to ear.

:44 —Block by Jarod Oldham and Downing ingests the rebound. Jarod does have some ups. Downing’s fouled by Bell, but the Bulls are one foul away from shooting one-and-one.

2:06—Over and back violation on Mansfield—as UB Spectrum’s Aaron Mansfield noted, UB is hedging very well defensively on ball-screens. Nuiriankh drills a trey from the right wing, and it’s 47-29 Bulls. Taijay Williams almost airballs a jumper for Mansfield, and a pretty entry bounce pass from Nuiriankh to McCrea leads to another basket and a foul. Strong hands on the play by McCrea, who ripped the ball away from Utti’s steal attempt and finished softly at the tin. Free throw is good, and it’s 50-29. 25-4 run for the Bulls.

3:33 —Steal by Will Regan after showing hard on the ball-screen—he’s denied on the fast-break, but UB regains control of the ball and Jarod Oldham sinks a three from the left wing. Fade-away by Joe Bell from the left baseline is silky smooth. Bell steps in front of a pass at the other end and knocks the ball out of play. Becoats picks Oldham’s pocket—quick hands—then Oldham thieves the ball right back from Bell before finding Ford sprinting down the floor. Bucket and the foul by the highly-touted sophomore!

3:55—Mistaken reset on the shot clock, and we’ve hit the under four timeout. 39-27 UB, amid a 14-2 spurt that’s put them comfortably ahead. No UB Dazzlers dance team here tonight, but the cheerleaders are in rare form. Not that I can judge cheerleading, but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.

4:44—Unguarded on the right wing, Skeete cans a three. The discrepancy in competition is beginning to show itself, as Richie Sebuhara doubles back towards the top of the key and whips a pass to Xavier Ford for a weakside lay-in. 39-27 UB, forcing a timeout from Rich Miller on the Mansfield sideline.

7:12—Ford wastes a pretty bounce pass from Skeete by blowing the lay-in. Two wild missed shots—one by Mansfield’s Kenny Johnson and the other by UB’s Raphell Thomas-Edwards. Loose ball foul on RTE. Steal by Skeete and good patience on the outlet to Raphell Thomas-Edwards, who throws down a fairly weak dunk. 9-0 now after Regan collects a post-feed from Ford and lays in another softly. Ford tries to draw the charge on Bell, but there’s no call—the bucket’s good for the Mansfield big.

7:29—Under eight timeout, 30-25 University at Buffalo. Kamil Parzych, a freshman from Poland, enters the game for the first time for Mansfield. Regan returns for Buffalo. Harper and Utti have looked comfortable tonight against a high-level of competition, but the visitors have understandably slowed down after a torrid start from the floor.

8:32—Extended minutes tonight for Sebuharara, who’s pushed on the baseline by Williams. Nice pivot by McCrea off Skeete’s inbounds—he lost the ball initially but had the presence of mind to collect himself, pivot and sink a shot. After a steal by Skeete, good ball movement found Sebuharara open in the left corner, and he swished the open look. 30-25 UB.

9:20—Chuck Harper gets in the lane again off the dribble and draws a foul on Sebuharara, who wasn’t too far from a clean block. On the previous possession, Jarryn Skeete’s short jumper, offensive rebound and no-look pass led to a turnover. Raphell Thomas-Edwards missed a three, but McCrea was on the weakside to clean up the glass and score off the window.

10:37 —Thomas-Edwards pulls up from 16 feet and promptly airballs a jumper. Why would he even bother taking that shot? Witherspoon hasn’t left his seat on the bench in a while. Cory Henneghan swishes a three off the dribble—what a shot. This Mansfield team has plenty of confidence shooting the basketball. Javon McCrea responds with a free-throw line jumper. He’s definitely extended his range over the past summer.

11:39—Ford finishes the three-point play the old-fashioned way. Tight man-to-man by the Buffalo defense, a look they’ve shown the entire game so far, and a good step-out by McCrea forces a travel on Mansfield. Jarryn Skeete is seeing his first action of the night, running the point with Sebuharara as his backcourt mate. Raphell Thomas-Edwards, eyes on the hoop, steps on the sideline as he starts his drive. 21-18 Bulls. Harper scoots past Skeete baseline and there’s no help defense—easy deuce for Harper.

11:40—Xavier Ford scrums for a loose ball under the Mansfield hoop and quickly rises, scores off glass and draws the foul on Kevonte McClain, who hails from Rochester. Nice Western New York imprint on this Mountaineer team. Under 12 timeout, 20-18 Buffalo. By my count, Mansfield has only missed one shot from the floor in the game’s first eight minutes. That’s probably not sustainable!

12:53—Nice look into the paint from Sebuharara to Ford, who has the ball knocked out of his hands by Cory Henneghan. Oldham scores off the in-bounds, however, from five feet away. Chuck Harper clangs a jumper and Oldham snags the rebound. Oldham bricks a three and Mansfield tries to run—miscommunication by Utti and Williams.

13:20—Under 16 timeout, 17-16 Mansfield after Onyema Utti scored plus the foul on Downing. Utti was simply quicker to the spot and sneaked the ball in off the window for two. Downing is slower than molasses this year—tonight will be a good fitness test for him. Sebuharara, Ford and Raphell Thomas-Edwards check-in for the Bulls. Niagara Falls’ Taijay Williams enters the game for Mansfield—nice homecoming game for him.

15:09—With his foot on the line, Onyema Utti steps into his shot in rhythm and cans the 20-footer. Raley Ross cuts across the lane from left to right and lays the ball in off-glass. Kevonte McClain knocks down a fall-away jumper, and it seems like everything the Mountaineers are throwing up is going in. Good extra pass from Raley-Ross to Nuiriankh created an open look from the left corner—it’s good!

16:36—Nuiriankh bricks a trey from the left wing, but the ball glances out to Buffalo. He curls off a screen on the ensuing in-bounds and nails a line-drive jumper from 14. Becoats hangs in the air surrounded by three Bulls and finds Harper with a bounce pass, then Mansfield scores on the fast break on a lay-in by Harper. 11-11 tie. Oldham’s three is long and Harper tracks down the long rebound.

17:54—Trying to set up a high-low play, Regan finds himself with a cushion behind the arc and he sinks a triple. Auraum Nuiriankh doesn’t step out on Becoats, however, who banks in a jumper. Soft hook by Regan in the lane, then an offensive foul on Becoats for an illegal screen. 9-7 Buffalo.

18:38—After a missed Raley-Ross pull-up, McCrea is there for the put-back. Jarod Oldham picks off a careless pass and Regan scores underneath after a short dish from Raley-Ross. Bell takes the ball right at McCrea at the other end and draws a foul on the junior from Newark. Downing enters the game for Javon after Bell sinks the first. 4-4.

20:00—Mansfield’s wearing red jerseys and shorts with white numbers and no names on the back. UB is donning its home whites with blue trim and blue numbers. UB turns the ball over on its first possession—a common occurrence in Buffalo’s loss to Canisius. Joe Bell, a 6’6 forward, nails a three for Mansfield from the top of the key.

Pre-game—Buffalo starts Will Regan, Jarod Oldham, Corey Raley-Ross, Auraum Nuiriankh and Javon McCrea. That’s Witherspoon’s usual starting five. Stan Wier and Xavier Ford were active in warm-up, but Wier doesn’t look like he has a chance of playing this year. Ford, on the other hand, may see minutes off the bench tonight. We’re ready for tip.

Pre-gameStarters for Mansfield: Charles Becoats, Onyema Utti, Kenny Johnson, Chuck Harper and Joe Bell. Pretty big glitch in the UB warm-up video’s audio, must have been too much “Gangster’s Paradise” before the game.

Pre-game—The University at Buffalo Bulls men’s basketball team will recover from a seven-point loss to Canisius with a tilt against DII Mansfield tonight. Mansfield lost 104-61 to St. Bonaventure in an exhibition match-up, so this should be a welcomed tune-up for Reggie Witherspoon’s struggling crew.

TAGGED: javon mccrea, mansfield mountaineers, reggie witherspoon, ub bulls, university at buffalo

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