Discover more from UB In 5
UB WOMEN SQUEEZE SYRACUSE; MEN'S HOOPS, FOOTBALL BOTH PLAY TONIGHT
The basketball teams are elevating, football's looking to salvage some pride.
Image from @UBwomenshoops
UB Women Stop Syracuse, Come Home With a W
Buffalo knew it was facing a tough road at the Bad Boy Mowers Women's Battle 4 Atlantis tournament before the first whistle: the Bulls drew the top-ranked South Carolina women in the opening round, and would catch either #9 Oregon or an Oklahoma team receiving votes in the AP Top 25 poll in its second game.
An ideal scenario for a Thanksgiving miracle, no? Maybe, but the results were a bit more formulaic: UB fell to South Carolina, 88-60, on Saturday, and then dropped a 93-72 decision to the Sooners on Sunday. The highlight of that loss, in which the Bulls shot well under 40 percent from the field (and under 30 percent from three) for the second consecutive game, was fifth-year forward Summer Hemphill’s 1,000th point in the blue and white. She’s the 28th player in school history to reach that mark.
Buffalo’s coming home with a win, however, and one that’s rather weighty with storylines. The Bulls (2-2) knocked off in-state rival Syracuse, 88-79, behind 62 combined points from Hemphill and junior guard Dyaisha Fair.
UBBulls.com reports this is “…the first Power 5 win for UB since 2019 when the Bulls defeated Rutgers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It is the first non-conference Power 5 win since Buffalo took down Clemson at the San Juan Shootout in 2017.”
But then, there’s this. From Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician:
For the second time in three days, a Syracuse team was run out of the gym by an in-state foe. The Bulls didn’t chuck quite as many threes as the Colgate men’s team, but they did shoot them at a more efficient clip, finishing 13-of-22 (59 percent) from beyond the arc.
It was extra sweet for former Syracuse standout-turned Buffalo head coach Felisha Legette-Jack, who earned her first career win over her alma mater. Legette-Jack recently had her jersey hung in the rafters of the Carrier Dome, the first female Syracuse athlete to have her number retired
So, yeah—Syracuse women’s basketball, an NCAA Tournament regular since 2013, is looking for its next long-term coach following the controversial resignation of Quentin Hillsman this summer. Legette-Jack, a legit Orange legend, is on the record as “very interested” in the job. Does this one victory make the case to lure Legette-Jack to Central New York any stronger? Probably not. But it certainly won’t convince many people who believe she is the logical, dare we say anointed, savior of Syracuse women’s basketball on 2022-23 otherwise.
The men’s basketball team has been able to roll with coaching changes over the past several seasons. The football team? Not so much. Speaking of football coaches with UB connections…
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Former UB Radio Analyst Jim Kubiak Named Hilbert Football Coach
From The Buffalo News:
Jim Kubiak, the career leading passer at Navy who played in the NFL, NFL Europe and the Arena Football League, has been named head coach of the new Division III football program at Hilbert College, the school announced Monday.
The program is scheduled to begin playing next fall.
A St. Francis High School graduate, he spent eight years as the radio analyst for the University at Buffalo and runs the Western New York Quarterback Academy to help develop the next generation of quarterbacks.
Football Wraps Up Season At Ball State Tonight
I always thought the idea of playing the spoiler sucked. You had a bad season, so now you’re going to take some kind of pleasure in ruining someone else’s? Great.
That said, UB can spoil Ball State’s season with a win in Muncie tonight. The Cardinals (5-6, 3-4) can become bowl eligible with a victory in the season finale. Buffalo (4-7, 2-5) can end a disappointing season on a positive note.
Head coach Maurice Linguist has promised the team will win tonight, according to Rachel Lenzi of The Buffalo News. He is in no mood for a letdown after a 33-27 OT loss to Northern Illinois, the Bulls’ first competitive contest since an Oct. 23 win over Akron.
“It’s important to capitalize on every opportunity we have to teach the young men in the locker room about what our expectations are, what the vision is for the program and to hold guys accountable and hold ourselves accountable, as a coaching staff,” Linguist said. “And to go out there and play to our standard and our level of play, regardless of whatever our record may look like.
“In the short term, focus on where we are, and the opportunity to win. In the big, big picture, it’s the opportunity to lay a foundation for all these guys coming back that have multiple years left, to propel us into the offseason and have all the things we need to do, in terms of the overall growth and development of the program.”
Sure. It’ll be interesting to see what Linguist does with a full offseason, and whether this campaign will be a blip on the radar in terms of the program’s overall growth, or another slide into obscurity. We’ve seen it happen before!
Anyhow—there are some things to watch tonight, from a UB perspective.:
Dylan McDuffie has scored a rushing touchdown in 6 straight games. He’s also 18 yards shy of 1,000 rushing yards on the season. He'd be the 14th player in program history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.
Quian Williams is 2 receptions from entering the top 10 in program history for receptions in a season. His 61 catches trail Naaman Roosevelt (2007) and Matt Weiser (2015), who are tied for 9th with 63 receptions.
James Patterson is 13 tackles shy of 300 for his career. If he gets to 300, he'd move into a tie for 10th place in program history in career tackles.
It’s been a lost season, in many ways, for injury-plagued Kevin Marks, but he is just one rushing touchdown shy of tying James Starks (2006-08) for second in school history with 34. Marks (3,031) is also 73 yards shy of passing Anthony Swan (3,103) for fourth in school history in career rushing yards.
Alex McNulty is looking to finish the season perfect on PAT attempts for the second straight season. He has made 104 straight extra points.
Full credit to UBBulls.com for the notes above. The game starts at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.
UB Men Face SFA in Cancun Challenge Tonight
And finally—the men’s basketball team has a good one tonight, facing Stephen F. Austin in the Cancun Challenge at 6 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The game comes on the heels of the announcement that senior guard Maceo Jack was named Mid-American Conference Player of the Week for a pair of 18-point performances in wins over North Texas and Rider.
SFA has been a power in the Southland Conference for over a decade (some sketchy player eligibility issues notwithstanding) and have made the move to the WAC this season.
Stephen F. Austin is 3-1 on the season following a victory over Middle Tennessee State on Friday in their Cancun Challenge campus game.
The Bulls are 17-5 all-time against teams from the Western Athletic Conference, however 12 of those victories have come against Chicago State, who used to be in the Mid-Continent Conference with Buffalo. UB's most recent contest against a WAC school came at Grand Canyon, an 80-64 win on Nov. 24, 2014.