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DAY LATE UPDATE: TWO BIG WINS FOR UB BASKETBALL
The legend of Georgia Woolley grows; Maceo Jack throws it down on WKU
Image from BuffaloNews.com
You know it’s a special time for UB basketball when Maceo Jack’s vicious one-handed dunk over the seven-foot-five NCAA leader in blocks isn’t even the biggest shot of the night.
The men’s and women’s basketball teams continue to be the refreshing digestif washing away the sour taste of a disappointing football season, and Wednesday crystalized how powerful the Bulls have become amongst the nation’s mid-majors. The UB women (6-2 overall) remained undefeated at home with a thrilling 62-60 win over visiting Atlantic 10 foe Virginia Commonwealth (5-3) courtesy of a Georgia Woolley buzzer beater, while the UB men (5-3) persevered without leading scorer Jeenathan Williams to secure a 77-67 win over defending Conference USA East Division champ Western Kentucky (5-4).
SIDE NOTE: As I’m writing this, former UB standout K.J. Osborn just caught a 62-yard, fourth quarter TD pass for the Minnesota Vikings to give the home team a 36-20 lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football.
Thank you, K.J., for protecting the Vikings’ -3.5 spread, which I’m currently playing. Bless those Bulls.
Let’s recap Wednesday’s games:
THE LEGEND OF GEORGIA WOOLLEY CONTINUES TO GROW
Image from ESPN+
Well, there was this:
As Bulls play-by-play man Paul Peck proclaimed after the freshman guard from Brisbane, Australia knocked down a buzzer-beating floater to give UB a 62-60 win over 2020-21 Atlantic 10 champion VCU, the legend of Georgia Woolley continues to grow.
Woolley—who averaged 43 points a game as a high school senior (watch the highlight reel)—has scored in double figures in four of Buffalo’s eight games, including 11 off the bench Wednesday on 4-of-7 shooting.
After VCU's Sarah Te-Biasu tied the game on a three-pointer with 2.5 seconds to go, the Bulls inbounded the ball tableside and Dominique Camp inbounded it to Woolley who took one dribble and let the floater fly and it found the bottom of the net at the buzzer for the win.
Junior guard Dyaisha Fair led all scorers with 22 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, to go with four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Summer Hemphill had another big game with 13 points and nine rebounds and Woolley finished with 11 points.
Buffalo continued to turn defense into offense as they scored 19 points off VCU turnovers and added 15 fastbreak points while also scoring 24 points in the paint.
"We had to try everything tonight," said head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. "I jumped on my coaches hard and they didn't even flinch. They kept talking about the next play, the next defensive line. My staff was locked in for the entire 40 minutes. If we had to go five more, they were willing to go five more. Really proud of my staff. Great team win!"
The Bulls are now 5-0 at Alumni Arena this season following a 4-0 home stand. Buffalo has the weekend off, and will travel to New Jersey on Tuesday to face Princeton (6-2).
The Tigers did not play in 2020-21 due to the cancellation of the Ivy League season. In 2019-20, however, Princeton posted a 26-1 record (including 22 consecutive wins) and ranked #17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and #22 in the AP Top 25 before COVID ended the campaign.
MACEO JACK DUNKED OVER A 7’5 GUY. ALSO, THE BULLS WON.
Image from bgdailynews.com
This is pretty strong:
Woof. That’s 6’5 senior guard Maceo Jack throwing down over 7’5 (!) WKU big man Jamarion Sharp, who entered Wednesday’s game as the NCAA Division I men’s leader in both blocked shots (he’s number two now, with 4.67 per game) and height. He didn’t block that one.
More importantly, of course, is the fact that Buffalo chalked up a nice road win over a tough non-conference opponent, knocking off the Hilltoppers, 77-67, at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The victory marked a solid rebound from Saturday’s disappointing 68-65 loss at St. Bonaventure, and gave the UB men a quality win over a non-conference opponent before facing what’s likely to be a pair of glorified scrimmages against Division III St. John Fisher on Saturday and a Canisius squad that’s currently 2-8—with one win over D3 Fredonia State—on Dec. 18.
Buffalo played without senior guard and team leader Jeenathan Williams, who sat with what was reported as a non-COVID illness.
It was a game of runs, and fortunately, the Bulls had stronger legs. From UBBulls.com:
The host Hilltoppers got out to the early 18-10 lead midway through the first half, but that would be their largest lead of the game. Triples from Maceo Jack and Ronaldo Segu ignited an 8-0 run and Buffalo tied up the game. Jack continued to have the hot hand as he had a thunderous dunk and then knocked down two more three-pointers to put the Bulls ahead, 30-25, with 4:59 left. A three from Josh Mballa gave the Bulls their largest lead of the first half at six.
The Hilltoppers came back and took a one-point lead, but then the Bulls started to heat up from three. Senior Keishawn Brewton drained three straight triples, followed by a three from Mballa and a long two from Jamon Bivens to give the Bulls a 63-52 lead.
Western Kentucky had one more run in them, pulling to within four with 6:20 left and the game was a five-point contest with 5:06 left when back-to-back buckets from Mballa and another Jack three gave the Bulls their largest lead of the game at 75-63. The Hilltoppers never got any closer than eight.
Senior big man Josh Mballa led all scorers with 19 points while also collecting a game-high nine rebounds. Senior guard Renaldo Segu scored 18 points with seven assists and six boards, and Jack added 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting from three and one sick dunk.
The Vikings covered, by the way! Bless those Bulls indeed.