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BULLS BASKETBALL ON BRIEF HIATUS FOLLOWING MEN'S, WOMEN'S WINS OVER BGSU
Plus: UB QB scores NFL TD at TE; Dyaisha Fair celebrates MAC POTW honor with a 40-point party
Image from ubbulls.com
SIGNS OF THE TIMES: MORE UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO COVID, TRANSFER PORTAL NEWS
All quiet on the Western New York front: Both the UB men’s and women’s basketball teams are on an unscheduled break. The men, courtesy of some schedule-juggling earlier in the month, play on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at Western Michigan, the first of four games in 11 days. The women have the week off—their weekend home game against Kent State and Wednesday’s trip to Ohio University are postponed until a later date. The Bulls are currently slated for a Jan. 15 contest vs. Western Michigan at Alumni Arena, sparking a three-game-in-eight-day run for the women. That’s assuming, of course, there are no more postponements.
Mid-American Conference guidance on these postponements posits that “if possible, games that cannot be played as scheduled will be rescheduled. If a game cannot be played and cannot be rescheduled, it will be considered a no contest.” Every game played becomes twice as important because of the uncertainty; and if the games are rescheduled, February will be an absolute sprint.
Another UB QB hits the transfer portal: Buffalo quarterback Trevor Bycznski, a former three-star prospect from Berea, Ohio, is considering a transfer. He made the announcement on Jan. 6 via Twitter. Bycznski has appeared in two games over three seasons with the Bulls without recording any statistics. He, like fellow Ohio native Kyle Vantrease—another veteran UB signal-caller that entered the transfer portal this offseason—were likely odd men out following the signing of three-star Rutgers quarterback Cole Snyder and the re-emergence of former starting quarterback Matt Myers during the 2021 season.
Porter, portal: The Buffalo News reports that junior wide receiver Bernard Porter is testing the transfer portal waters, as well. Porter, a South Carolina native and juco transfer from Highland (Kansas) Community College, caught 10 balls for 143 yards last season, including four receptions for 53 yards in the finale against Ball State.
Pittsburgh Sports Now has former Bulls linebacker Tim Terry joining UB’s MAC rival Akron, where the Steel City native will connect with fellow Western Pennsylvanian and newly-anointed Zips head coach Joe Moorhead. Terry told PSN he formerly played basketball with Moorhead’s nephew.
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FORMER UB QUARTERBACK TYREE JACKSON COLLECTS FIRST CAREER NFL CATCH, TOUCHDOWN VS. DALLAS
Image from draftwire.usatoday.com
Tyree Jackson scored 65 touchdowns (49 passing, 16 rushing) as the Bulls’ quarterback from 2016 to 2018. Now a tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles, he snagged his first career NFL touchdown on his first career NFL catch on Saturday night against America’s Team:
This will not be a game most Eagles fans will want to remember, but it’ll be one our old friend never forgets—and not just for the milestones: Jackson reportedly injured his knee, as well. Initial tests do not indicate an ACL tear, but he’s already scheduled for an MRI. Wishing our guy well.
UB MEN & WOMEN TOSS A PAIR OF STRIKES AGAINST BOWLING GREEN
Image from toledoblade.com
Falcons Fall Following Fair’s Forty
Don’t get in the way of the Buffalo women’s basketball team and star guard Dyaisha Fair (pictured above) right now. The Bulls (9-4 overall, 3-0 in MAC play) won their third straight MAC contest on Wednesday night, an 82-66 trouncing at Bowling Green, behind 40 points from Fair.
"Dyaisha was locked in from shootaround," Head Coach Felisha Legette-Jack told UBBulls.com. "She remembered that this is the team that ended our season last year and she took this game personally."
Fair had been named MAC Player of the Week on Jan. 4. She’d averaged 27 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game in the Bulls’ wins over Central Michigan on Dec. 29 and Miami (Ohio) on Jan. 1.
Buffalo came out hungry for revenge, and BGSU wilted, as noted by Corey Crisan of The Toledo Blade:
The Falcons (6-5, 1-1 MAC) played arguably their worst quarter of the season in the first half. The second quarter ended with Buffalo outscoring BGSU 25-6, as BGSU made just 3 of 20 shots from the field and 0 of 10 3-pointers. Buffalo made 9 of 14 from the field and 3 of 4 3-pointers in the second quarter. The Bulls out-rebounded the Falcons 16-6 and at one point held a 22-point lead.
“A really disappointing first half for us,” Falcons coach Robyn Fralick said. “I mean, that was the difference in the game. Buffalo’s a really good team, and we got to learn a lesson from that moving forward.”
In the first half, the Falcons shot 20 percent from the field to Buffalo’s 58.1 percent, including making 7 of 35 shots from the field and 2 of 14 from 3-point range.
Fair, tied for fifth in the nation in scoring with Jennifer Coleman of Navy at 23.6 points per game, was an efficient 14-of-22 from the floor and six-of-10 from three. She also recorded four assists and three steals.
Fifth-year senior forward Summer Hemphill collected a double-double for UB with 19 points and 10 rebounds—her fifth of the season. Junior guard Dominque Camp, the transfer from Troy University, added 11 points.
UBBulls.com notes “…Buffalo is now 86-10 since 2016-17 when holding opponents to under 70 points and are 144-9 when tied or leading with five minutes to play. The Bulls won the battle on the glass, 44-33, including a combined 17 from (junior forward Adebola) Adeyeye and (sophomore forward Loren) Christie, while scoring 28 points in the paint and 16 points off of 14 BG turnovers.”
Next up for the women: Another weeklong break, scheduling hijinks notwithstanding. The sabbatical ends with a Saturday, Jan. 15 contest against Western Michigan at 2 p.m. in Alumni Arena, where UB is 6-0 on the season. The game will be viewable on ESPN3.
Image from ubbulls.com
Skogman Comes Alive, Bulls Basketball Thrives
The Buffalo men’s basketball team was able to breathe a sign of relief on Wednesday night after notching its first MAC win of the season, a 99-88 victory over visiting Bowling Green. After losing two consecutive conference games by double digits and playing with a three-man bench due to four sidelined players—including star forward Josh Mballa and key reserve Tra’Von Fagan, again—the Bulls (7-6, 1-2) turned to…
That’s right—the 6’10 big man from Waukesha, Wisconsin (pictured above) went off for 20 points and 15 rebounds, becoming, as UBBulls.com tells us, “…just the second player this season to score at least 20 points, while going perfect from the field (6-6), the three-point line (2-2), and the free throw line (6-6).”
Skogman had previously scored in double figures once this season—17 points against Illinois State—and was averaging just over four rebounds per game. The explosion was, to be honest, unexpected.
It couldn’t have come at a better time. UB had lost three in a row. Fellow frontcourt partners Mballa and Fagan were out for the second consecutive game due to COVID issues, sapping Buffalo of nearly 22 points, 14 rebounds, and 43 minutes of big shoulder energy in the paint.
Six-foot-eleven Brock Betram, who averages 11 minutes per game, and 6’9 Kuluel Mading, who plays roughly four minutes per game, were also injured and unavailable.
Skogman put on his hard hat and went to work. Not only did he help carry the offense, he played a key role in neutralizing Preseason 1st Team All-MAC forward Daeqwon Plowden, who was held to five-of-14 shooting from the field.
From The Buffalo News:
"A lot of it was getting back to doing what we do," Skogman said. "Blue collar, that's what this program's been about. We got our butts kicked on the boards at Akron, and coming back here tonight, we knew that was something we were going to have to do, get on the floor, take charges."
Swingman Jeenathan Williams scored a team-high 21 points to lead the Bulls. Senior point guard Ronaldo Segu added 20 points and seven assists. Fifth year senior guard Maceo Jack pitched in with 16 points.
Freshman guard Curtis Jones had a career-high 11 points, including his first trio of made three-pointers as a collegian.
Let’s keep the wins coming! The UB men are slated to play Western Michigan (4-10, 0-3) in Kalamazoo on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Read Fieldhouse. The game will be shown on ESPN3.
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