Discover more from UB In 5
BUCKEYE STATE BLUES
UB women fall at Ohio, a second straight road loss for the Bulls. Plus: more from the football transfer turnstile.
Image from thepostathens.com
“Ohio is not known for its capabilities when shooting from 3-point range,” wrote The Athens (Ohio) Post’s Ashley Beach after the Bobcats (10-5 overall, 4-2 in Mid-American Conference play) knocked off Buffalo, 68-66, at the Convocation Center on Monday night.
You could’ve fooled us. Ohio leads the MAC in three point makes per game (9.3) and bombed away at a 40 percent clip from distance after a cold first quarter, overcoming a 15-point first half deficit with the help of eight treys—including junior guard Kaylee Bambule’s corner three-ball with 6:26 left in the fourth quarter to give OU a 60-57 lead that they’d never relinquish.
"I've talked about this before … either you're tough enough to do it or you're not," said head coach Bob Boldon following the win. "These kids, there's something special about them. Buffalo's good. They're hard to beat, and when we start down 16, they're really hard to beat … to give up 25 points in the second half is really good."
Cece Hooks was the leading scorer and rebounder for the Bobcats, putting in a 20 point, 16 rebound effort while playing all 40 minutes. Erica Johnson also played every minute of the game, and scored 16 points after going 5 for 11 from beyond the arc. Kaylee Bambule joined the double-digit scoring effort with 15 total points, including back-to-back three-pointers in the fourth quarter to give Ohio the lead for the first time all night.
What can you say? Everything started right for the Bulls (11-6, 5-2), and then nothing went right at all.
Things fall apart
Image from ohiobobcats.com
The tortoise and the hare: UB opened the game on a 13-0 run, and grew its lead to 16 points at the 5:31 mark of the second quarter on a Loren Christie layup that gave Buffalo a 34-18 advantage.
Security issues: After taking the 16-point lead, the Bulls turned the ball over eight times, leading directly to 13 Bobcat points. Junior point guard Dominique Camp committed five of her six turnovers as the lead was chipped away. A turnover by freshman guard Georgia Woolley led to Bambule’s go-ahead three. Lots of uncharacteristically forced passes by UB, perhaps a little cocksure when playing with a decent lead, and the results spoke for themselves.
Hard in the paint: Buffalo had more points in the paint (36-22) in the game, and, in the first half, it looked as though junior forward Adebola Adeyeye was going to do whatever she wanted. Adeyeye recorded her second double-double in three games with 12 points on 75 percent shooting from the field, and grabbed 10 boards. She looked unstoppable in the low post, showing off an unsolvable spin move, until she left the game in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a fairly serious knee injury.
Greedy for the 3: Inexplicably, the offense gravitated away from the 6’2 veteran from Ontario, and her fellow frontcourt mates Christie (nine points, four rebounds) and Summer Hemphill (12 points, nine boards). Instead, the Bulls began bombing away from three-point range. Not a great plan: UB shot one-for-13 from distance as the Bobcats clawed their way back.
Frontcourt carries the weight: Overall, Buffalo shot 34 percent in the second half—but Adeyeye, Hemphill, and Christie were a combined six for nine in the final 20 minutes, and six-for-eight inside the three-point line.
Lid on the bucket: The normally explosive duo of Woolley and sophomore forward Dyaisha Fair had a rough night. The twosome combined to shoot 10-of-35 from the floor, including three-of-15 from three. One more of those shots go in, and the Bulls win.
Finding ways to help: Fair, who struggled to hit the 10-point mark, contributed in other ways, grabbing eight boards and distributing three assists. Woolley scored 15 and was one of two UB players with a positive plus-minus. Overall, though, not their best showings.
Slumping superstar: There’s no other way to say this—Fair is in legit shooting slump. Still seventh in the nation in scoring at 22.2 points per game, Fair is 24-for-82 from the field in her last four games (29 percent) and five-of-24 from three (21 percent). Buffalo’s been playing short at guard with Jazmine Young and Cheyenne McEvans unavailable—is the 38-minute per game average she’s carried since Nov. 22 a little too much for the high-energy Fair?
Despite the two-game losing streak, Head Coach Felisha Legette-Jack maintained a positive outlook on social media:
All is not lost
Image from ubbulls.com
The Bulls remain in third place in the conference. The team is 66th in the NCAA NET rankings. Not where they want to be, but not out of the league championship or NCAA tourney races by any stretch.
But—at the same time—for the first time since November, some worry may be seeping in.
The bench, particularly if Adeyeye misses significant time, is already stretched thin. The schedule remains a meat grinder, with three more games in the next eight days and no slowdown in sight.
The competition does lighten up a little—Ball State (143rd in NET) and Northern Illinois (192nd) are coming to Alumni Arena, where UB is 8-0 this season. The next road trip takes the Bulls to Michigan play EMU (251st) and CMU (284th). These should all be winnable games.
So hang in there, folks. Let’s see if Buffalo can righten the ship.
BRING ON BALL STATE: SCOUTING THE CARDINALS
Image from ballstatesports.com
It’s home, sweet home for Buffalo on Wednesday. The Bulls will welcome Ball State to Alumni Arena, where the hosts have yet to lose.
Some quick notes on the Blue and White, courtesy of UBBulls.com:
Fair leads the Bulls and ranks seventh in the nation in scoring at 22.2 points per game. Hemphill is averaging just under a double-double with 15.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per game while Woolley has scored in double figures in 11 of the last 12 games and is averaging 10.8 points per game. Buffalo is distributing the basketball at an excellent clip, averaging 15.6 assists per game and a 1.10 assist-to-turnover ratio, both ranking in the top 50 nationally while also ranking 41st with a +4.2 turnover margin. That leads to a potent offense which ranks 24th in the nation in scoring (75.9 ppg). The Bulls are ranked 66th in the latest NET rankings. They are also ranked 14th in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 poll.
As for the Cardinals (11-7, 4-4), Head Coach Brady Sallee’s bunch is coming off a thrilling 67-64 win over Miami (Ohio) on Monday night. Freshman guard Ally Becki (pictured above) scored a career-high 19 points, while Delaware transfer Chyna Latimer dropped 17 points and grabbed 10 boards.
Some things to keep an eye on tomorrow night, via ballstatesports.com:
This year, the Cardinals are forgoing "traditional" positions and using their own such as backs, crashers, and keys, to bring a sense of team unity. That system proved to be the lift Ball State needed, especially with so many new faces on the court. BSU started the season 2-0 for the first time since 2017.
In the Cardinals last 12 contests Ball State has been able limit its turnovers against its opponents. Against Purdue Fort Wayne, the Cardinals only committed 12 turnovers and then mimicked that type of performance against Pitt with a season low nine miscues. Currently the Cardinals assist/turnover ratio is 1.11 which is good for a national ranking of 42 and are leading the MAC in that category.
The Cardinals currently rank 16th in the nation among its Division I peers in 3-point field goals per game 8.9). Ball State also ranks in the top-50 in 3-point field goal attempts coming in at 13 with 504 and 17th in the nation for total 3-pointers made with 161.
Game time is 7 p.m. Catch the action on ESPN+.
THE FOOTBALL TRANSFER TURNSTILE KEEPS SPINNING
Image from ubbulls.com
This one stings: Buffalo tight end Tyler Stephens has entered the transfer portal.
Image from @tylerstephens80
A redshirt sophomore who showed flashes of brilliance in 2021, Stephens was a legit three-star catch coming out of high school:
Tight end for a high-powered LaBrae (Braceville, Ohio) High School squad that scored a school-record 550 points on 79 touchdowns his senior season… had 64 receptions for 1,034 yards and 12 touchdowns his senior season… defensively, set a school record with 53 career tackles for loss… named All-Northeast Inland District First Team… named All-Ohio Special Mention… selected to the WKBN Big 22 Team.
Stephens announced on social media that he already has interest from Missouri, and if the response from Mizzou fans is any indication, they’re interested in him, too.
The portal taketh, the portal giveth
Image from 247sports
On the plus side, Head Coach Maurice Linguist, a known recruiting whisperer, has also been raking in new talent, including:
Christopher Edmonds, a transfer from Samford who was a Spring 2021 Buck Buchanan Award finalist, 1st-Team All-American, and 1st-Team Southern Conference defensive back.
Jayden Oliver, a three-star cornerback and NJCAA champion from New Mexico Military Institute.
Caleb Offord (pictured above), a Notre Dame transfer and another three-star defensive back.
Sidney Walker, a two-star UConn transfer and 11-game starter on the Huskies’ offensive line.
Tre Hines, a wide receiver who averaged 17 yards per catch at The College of San Mateo.
Some de-commits: Arizona State wide receiver Geordon Porter, Holy Cross offensive lineman John Brekke, and Weber State offensive lineman Anthony LaFrance all appeared to be on their way to Western New York before pivoting.