Regional Rivalries On Tap in Saturday Doubleheader
BUFFALO, NY - Fans will be treated to a pair of rivalry games on Saturday, as the women's basketball team hosts Binghamton at 5 pm before the men play against Big Four rival Niagara immediately after. The first 1,500 fans at the women's game will receive a pair of "Be A Bull" tube socks.
The women are coming off a back-and-forth game against rival St. Bonaventure on Wednesday night, eventually losing 64-55. Freshman Rachael Gregory set career highs in points (18) and rebounds (13), notching her first career double-double. With her effort, she became first UB freshman to score double figures in 4 straight games since Jamie Schieber in 2005-06.
The Bulls went up 20-11 with just over nine minutes left in the opening half, but went scoreless over the next eight and a half minutes, finally breaking the drought with 53 second left. The team struggled to just a 31 percent night from the field shooting the ball, but also held the Bonnies to 38 percent and forced 20 turnovers while corraling 18 offensive rebounds. The key to the game was free-throw shooting, as the Bonnies hit 21-25 and the Bulls hit only 12 in 17 attempts.
Despite being just a three-hour ride away, the game against Binghamton will be the first meeting between the SUNY schools since Feb. 19, 1984, when the Bulls won 60-46 at home. Binghamton is currently winless through the first eight games of the season, most recently losing 58-56 to UNLV at a tournament out in Arizona. The team is led by Sherae Swinson's 9.9 points per game, while Jasbriell Swain has a team-high 7.7 rebounds. While both teams have struggled shooting the ball in the early going, the Bearcats average just 48.4 points per game as opposed to 57.1 points per game for UB.
In the following men's game, the Bulls will take on Niagara for the 90th time in the storied history of the local rivals. The series against the Purple Eagles is the longest-running series in UB's program history, and the Bulls have enjoyed an 8-2 record in the last 10 meetings between the two. Niagara's last win at Alumni Arena came in 2008. Both teams are coming off important wins, with Niagara beating Loyola 62-61 and Buffalo routing Milwaukee 72-52 on the road.
Buffalo is coming off a 72-52 win at Milwaukee on Wednesday night. The Bulls were led by Javon McCrea who scored a career-high 31 points and added 11 rebounds for his second double-double in as many games. Auraum Nuiriankh added 13 points and 15 rebounds - both career highs - and recorded the most rebounds in a single game since Calvin Betts had 18 against Kent State in 2009. The Bulls have been finding success in recent games through efficient scoring from the floor. That has been fortunate, as the Bulls have been out-shot at the free throw line by 44 in just the past three games, highlighted by only three attempts on Wednesday against the Panthers.
Niagara has been prolific in scoring so far this season, but it has been defense that has led to a 3-5 record. Despite averaging 74.9 points per game, the Eagles are allowing 79 points to the opposition. Four different players are posting ten points or more per game through the first eight games, highlighted by Antoine Mason's 18.6 per game. Juan'ya Green averages 15.8 points per game, and Ameen Tanksley (10.4) and Marvin Jordan (9.9) round out the top four scorers for Niagara.
Tickets are still available for the doubleheader, fans can either call 1-877-UB-THERE, or visit BuffaloBulls.com for ticket order information. The woman's game can be heard on WLVL 1340 AM, while the men's game can be heard on WECK 1230 AM. Time Warner Cable Sports will also be broadcasting the game on local and regional outlets, but the men's game will only be available on tape delay Sunday, but the women's game will be live.