No. 25 UB rolls past Ohio

February 19, 2019 - 10:12 pm
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A little over 36 hours after finding out they were still the ranked in the AP Top-25 poll, the 25th-ranked UB men’s basketball team (23-3, 11-2) cruised passed the Ohio Bobcats (11-14, 3-10) with to a 114-67 victory on Tuesday night at Alumni Arena. The 114 points are the most UB has ever scored against a Division-I opponent. 

The Bulls are in the midst of their 15th-consecutive week being ranked in the AP Top-25; and Tuesday night’s convincing win may have showed the doubters why they still belong there. 

Tuesday morning on WGR, Bulls head coach Nate Oats said the team had been starting games slow as of late, but that wasn’t the case versus the Bobcats.

UB came sprinting out of the gates against the last-place team in the MAC East division and jumped out to a nine-point lead a little over seven minutes in. However, it was the play on the defensive side that sparked the Bulls hot start.

“I thought our defensive intensity was a lot better,” Bulls head coach Nate Oats said after the win. “I wasn’t really concentrating so much on the offense tonight, we were talking about getting stops. I thought in the first four minutes our defensive intensity was much better than it had been in previous games.”

Jayvon Graves led the offense in the first half with 19 points in 14 minutes and shot an impressive 6 for 6 from behind the arc. The sophomore guard finished with a game-high 26 points, four rebounds and one assist, going 7 for 9 from three. Graves’ 26 points is also a career-high.

“[Jayvon] had his best game since he’s been here,” Oats said. “The last time he played this well was probably at St. Bonaventure right after his grandfather passed. So, I was ecstatic, I tried to run some plays for him early because I thought he had been that great in practice. The first thing I told the team at halftime is ‘practice matters.’ Here’s a kid who’s had the two best practices of his life since he’s been here and now he comes out and plays like this.”

Ohio would go four minutes (12:04-7:59) without scoring a point midway through the first half. Despite only scoring seven points during that stretch, UB would go on a run shortly after to put the game seemingly out of reach before halftime.

The Bulls outscored Ohio 29-13 in the final eight minutes of the first half, a run that started with back-to-back three-pointers from Graves.

“I was struggling the past few games,” Graves admitted postgame. “My teammates found me in the right spots. I just felt confident shooting and playing my game. After the third [three-pointer] fell, I knew it would be a good game for me.”

UB took a 52-27 lead into the locker room at halftime and didn’t look back. The Bulls dominated the final 20 minutes from the first whistle, leading by as much as 49 at one point in the half.

CJ Massinburg took over the duties of leading the offense when he began to heat up early in the second half. The senior guard scored 16 of his 23 points in the final 20 minutes; he also added four assists and three rebounds.

UB surpassed the 100-point mark with almost six minutes left in the game following a three-pointer from Graves. The Bulls have now scored 100-plus points three times this season.

Along with a program-high in points, UB also set the school record for made three-pointers in a game with 19. The 47-point win also marks the largest margin of victory over a Mid American Conference team in UB’s history.

The Bulls return home on Friday, February 22nd when they host Kent State at Alumni Arena at 7:00 P.M. You can listen to the full game along with pregame and postgame coverage on ESPN 1520. 

 

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