The University at Buffalo extended their home winning streak to 16 games as they defeated Western Illinois 63-58 Saturday night at Alumni Arena. UB is approaching the all-time home winning streak of 23 games set between 1929-31. The 16 straight at Alumni Arena is already the record in the building, which opened in 1982.
Senior forward Jamie Anderson had a team-high 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, including 4-of-6 on three-pointers, as the Bulls shot 50 percent from three-point range. Sophomore Matt Clemens came off the bench to score 13 points.
Mike Martinho (12 points) put UB ahead to stay with a three-pointer with 10:32 left in the game, as the Bulls' defense held Western Illinois star Garrick Vicks to a season-low five points. UB opened an 11-point cushion after a technical foul on Western Illinois coach Jim Kerwin with 3:56 remaining before the Leathernecks cut the lead to three points with :32 left. Martinho and Robert Harris hit two straight free throws to put the game away. The Bulls, now 11-7 overall and 8-3 in the Mid-Continent Conference, are all alone in second place behind Valparaiso.
Earlier in the week, the Bulls defeated Youngstown State 53-51 in a tough road game on Thursday. Freshman point guard Bernard Wheeler hit a running jump shot in the lane with 2.8 seconds remaining to give the Bulls the win.
UB held a 44-39 lead with 10:29 left, but didn't score another field goal until Martinho (10 points) nailed a three-pointer to put the Bulls ahead 51-48 with 1:43 to play.
After Youngstown State tied the game with 22 ticks remaining, Wheeler made his clutch shot in heavy traffic. Matt Clemens added 10 points, while Wheeler, Robert Harris and Leonard Tangishaka had eight points apiece.
The Royals won their 11th straight home game on Saturday as they defeated Western Illinois 84-77 at Alumni Arena. Charissa Gardner led the way for UB as she scored 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Royals used hot shooting and tough defense to open up a 15-point halftime lead. UB shot 51.9 percent from the field while limiting the Westerwinds to only 25 percent.
The second half was a different story however, as UB's hot shooting disappeared. After pushing their lead to 21 with 14:18 left, the Royals made just five field goals the rest of the way. Western rebounded from their first-half shooting woes, hitting 15-of-33 shots (45.5 percent) in the second half. The Westerwinds outscored Royals 32-12 in a 10-minute span to trail 58-57 with 4:36 remaining. Western's Lori Haskett led the Westerwinds with 23 points and 13 rebounds, scoring 13 of her 23 in the second half.
However Nicole Blakeslee (14 points, 9 rebounds) came up big for UB, scoring five of the Royals' last eight points, including converting a crucial three-point play and hitting a layup that pushed UB's lead to five with :46 left. Charissa Gardner led the Royals with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Brenna Doty added 15.
The Royals, now 16-4 overall and 8-2 in the Mid-Continent Conference, are alone in first place in the conference. They will look to increase their lead in the conference when they host Missouri-Kansas City on Monday at Alumni Arena at 5:30 p.m.
MEN'S & WOMEN'S SWIMMING
UB's men's and women's swim teams split Saturday's dual meet with Cleveland State at Alumni Arena Natatorium. The Royals defeated the Vikings 162.50-58.50 in the women's meet while the Bulls fell in the men's meet 152-87. It was the final dual meet of the season for both teams.
Buffalo's Alexandra Barrera won a pair of events for the Royals. The sophomore captured first place in the 1,000 freestyle in an ECAC qualifying time of 10:40.92 and the 200 backstroke in 2:11.58, also surpassing the ECAC qualifying mark.
Suzanne Bohnel also took two events winning the 200 breaststroke in 2:30.57 to qualify for ECACs and the 100 freestyle in 54.87.
Kristen Krenitsky, in her final dual meet at UB, won the 200 freestyle in 1:59.04 and 500 freestyle in 5:16.75 to qualify for ECACs. Krenitsky also teamed with Carrie Grant, Bohnel and Lieselle Trinidad to win the 400 medley relay in an ECAC qualifying time of 4:03.72.
On the men's side, Mark Horgan won two events for the Bulls. Horgan qualified for ECACs winning the 1,000 free in 9:50.12 and took the 500 free in 4:48.93.
Korry Miller also won a pair of events taking the 200 IM in 1:58.40 and the 200 backstroke in an ECAC qualifying 1:57.46.
INDOOR TRACK & FIELD
The University at Buffalo men's and women's indoor track and field squads both had members who broke school records during competition this weekend.
At the Brooks Classic in Morgantown, West Virginia, the Royals' Shelly Hamilton won the women's high jump, clearing 5-8 for the victory. The jump not only set a school record but also qualified the freshman for Junior Nationals. In the men's competition, Mike Spitz finished fourth in the pole vault establishing a UB record with a mark of 15-6.
Meanwhile, at the Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Indiana, Kevin Winkler set a Bulls record finishing fourth in the 400 meters in 48.45 seconds.
The Bulls' dual meet at Central Connecticut State on Saturday was postponed due to an illness that afflicted most of the Blue Devils squad. UB will be in action twice this week, first traveling to Slippery Rock on Tuesday, and hosting Bucknell on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Alumni Arena.
-Andy Punzal, Sports Information Office