This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Sports Recap

Published: December 2, 2004

Athletes of the Week

Harold Sherrell of the wrestling team finished second in the 197-pound weight class at the Lock Haven Mat Town Tournament. After a pair of victories, Sherrell knocked off Minnesota's Matt Koz, 15-6, in the semifinals. Koz was ranked 16th in the preseason Division I poll at 197 pounds.

Viorica Badinici of the women's basketball team led the Bulls with team highs of 13 points and seven rebounds in their first win of the season over Lafayette, 54-45, at HSBC Arena. Badinici shot .500 from the floor (5-for-10), including .667 from three-point range (2-for-3). She had a combined 11 points and three rebounds in the Bulls' first two games of the year and now leads the team with 8.0 points per game



UB 87, Fairleigh Dickinson 84 (OT)

UB 92, Indiana State 64

The Bulls picked up a pair of non-conference victories last week, dropping Fairleigh Dickinson, 87-84, in overtime and easily running past Indiana State, 92-64, on Saturday in HSBC Arena.

Mark Bortz's alley-oop dunk off an inbounds pass from Turner Battle with one second remaining capped a miraculous 7-0 scoring run in the game's final 46 seconds to tie the contest with Fairleigh Dickinson and send it to overtime. The Bulls outscored the Knights, 13-10, in the extra stanza to win the game, 87-84, in Alumni Arena on Nov. 23.

A free throw by Tamien Trent gave FDU a 74-67 lead with 47 seconds left in the game. Bortz answered with a dunk to cut the lead to 74-69 with 24 seconds on the clock. After Trent missed a free throw at the other end, Battle hit a jumper to cut the lead to 74-71 with 13 seconds remaining. After another missed free throw by the Knights, Daniel Gilbert was fouled on a three-point attempt and awarded three free throws with 3.2 seconds left. The senior missed the first free throw, made the second and after intentionally missing the third, the ball was knocked out of bounds by an FDU player, setting up the game-tying basket.

The Bulls scored the first five points of overtime on a three-pointer by Calvin Cage and a steal and layup by Roderick Middleton to take a 79-74 lead. Fairleigh Dickinson cut the lead to 85-84 with 33 seconds left. Bortz capped off a career night by sinking a pair of free throws to give the Bulls an 87-84 lead with 16 seconds remaining. The Knights had two cracks at tying the game, but missed two three-point attempts as timed expired.

Bortz tied a career-high with 24 points and added nine rebounds and two blocked shots. Battle nearly recorded his first career triple-double with 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Cage dropped 16 points, including a pair of three-pointers in overtime, and had a career-high five steals. Gilbert and Yassin Idbihi also reached double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

On Saturday, UB turned in its most dominating all-around performance of the young season en route to a 92-64 victory over Indiana State.

The Bulls were led by Idbihi with a season-high 22 points, including three three-pointers and five rebounds. Gilbert scored 15 points on 7-for-8 shooting.

Leading, 9-8, with 16:36 left in the first half, the Bulls went on a 17-3 scoring run to take a 26-11 lead and control of the contest. UB held Indiana State without a field goal for more than 12 minutes in the first half. However, the Sycamores did convert 13-of-21 free throws in the first stanza, but still trailed by 25 at the break.

It was much of the same in the second half as the Bulls didn't allow the Sycamores to get any closer than 21 points before cruising to the 28-point victory. The 92 points scored by the Bulls were their most since the 2001-02 season when they scored 100 points against Chicago State.

Battle had 14 points, five assists and three steals. Mario Jordan rebounded nicely from a sluggish start to the season by scoring 12 points and adding four steals and a career-best five assists.


UB 54, Lafayette 45

UB put forth a strong team effort, shooting 40.9 percent from the floor and getting points from all nine players who saw action in the game, to earn its first win of the season, 54-45, over Lafayette in front of 1,327 fans in HSBC Arena.

Sophomore transfer Viorica Badinici led the Bulls with team highs of 13 points and seven rebounds, and freshman Stephanie Bennett added nine points, five rebounds and four steals to lead the attack.

The first half was even through the first seven minutes, with Lafayette holding a slim 10-9 lead at the 12:46 mark. The Bulls then embarked on an 8-0 run, holding the Leopards scoreless for more than six minutes, to take a 17-10 lead. That cushion would be enough for the Bulls, who didn't relinquish their lead for the remainder of the game. UB shot 38.9 percent (7-for-18) in the first half, compared to Lafayette's 21.7 percent (5-for-23) to take a 22-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Badinici, who had eight of her 13 points in the second half, scored the Bulls' first two buckets after the break to start an 11-5 run that put UB ahead 33-22 at the 15:10 mark for its largest lead of the game. The run included a jumper and two free throws by senior Allison Bennett and a three-pointer by Stephanie Bennett. The Bulls shot 42.3 percent in the second half (11-for-26), while Lafayette shot 44.4 percent (12-for-27).

Cross Country

Koeppel finishes 56th at NCAA Championships

Jenny Koeppel turned in an impressive showing at the NCAA Women's Cross Country National Championships on Nov. 22, completing the 6K course in 21:28.0 to place 56th overall among a field of 250 of the nation's top cross-country athletes.

The meet was hosted by Indiana State University. Damp conditions greeted the runners as overnight and early morning rain yielded to partly cloudy skies as the race began.

Koeppel, a senior, is the first UB woman and third Bulls runner in more than 35 years to compete in the NCAA Division I Championship. Ed Fuchs ran in three championship races from 1968-70 in what was known as the NCAA's University Division, the forerunner of today's Division I classification. Jeremie Slick raced in the 2001 Championships, finishing 91st overall. UB previously had sent women's runners to the NCAA Division III Championships during the 1980s. In 1985, Margaret Gehring finished 15th overall to gain All-American status.


Three Bulls place at Mat Town meet

Junior Harold Sherrell finished second at 197 pounds to highlight UB's day at the Mat Town USA Tournament at Lock Haven University on Saturday.

Sherrell beat two Big 10 Conference wrestlers on his way to the finals, the first time the junior has made it to a college tournament finals.

Sophomores Mark McKnight (125 pounds) and Pat Lloyd (149 pounds) took fifth to round out UB's placers at the tournament.

UB's next stop on a month-long road trip will be tomorrow at Las Vegas for the two-day Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, traditionally one of the best wrestling tournaments in the country.


Weekley named to Academic All-MAC squad

Junior Katie Weekley has been named to the 2004 Academic All-Mid-American Conference Volleyball Team. A total of 18 student-athletes were named to the team, as selected by the league's faculty athletic representatives.

Weekley was the only player to start all 30 of the Bulls' matches this season, and she led the team with 1.30 blocks per game (third in the MAC) and ranked third on the squad with 2.32 kills per game. She reached double digits in kills in 12 matches this season, and had a career-high 18 kills and 11 blocks in a 3-2 win over Miami (OH) on Nov. 7, helping the Bulls to their first MAC win of the year. Weekley set a career high with 14 blocks against Kent State on Oct. 8.

A psychology major with a 3.791 grade point average, Weekley was a team co-captain this season and also serves as the Student Athlete Advisory Committee's athletes-for-athletes officer.



Brankovsky posts strong finishes at Canadian Open

Jennefer Brankovsky scored three championship finishes at the 2004 Canadian Open and Short Course Nationals at the Talisman Centre in Calgary, Alberta over the weekend. Brankovsky also narrowly missed reaching the finals in two additional events. More than 300 swimmers from 62 clubs participated in the four-day meet.

Brankovsky opened the meet with a seventh-place showing in the 200-meter individual medley, finishing in 2:19.93 and slashing more than three seconds off her personal best set at the 2003 U.S. Open. She reached the championship race after qualifying eighth in the preliminary round in 2:20.80. Sixteen-year old Julia Wilkinson won the finals in 2:17.46.

Brankovsky then posted a sixth-place finish in the championship final of the 200-meter butterfly in 2:18.23, seventh-hundredths of a second faster than her preliminary time (2:18.30). She also scored another sixth-place finish in the 400-meter individual medley, touching the wall in 4:59.40, to cut nearly two seconds off her preliminary time of 5:01.27. Alexa Komarnycky, a 15-year-old from the Etobicoke Swim Club, won the race in 4:50.55.

In the 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter breaststroke, Brankovsky missed reaching the finals, which consisted of the 16-fastest qualifiers. Brankovsky placed 19th overall in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:04.54. In the 200-meter breaststroke, Brankovsky turned in a 2:40.80 clocking to finish 25th. Both times were personal bests for her.

Brankovsky and the remainder of the UB swim team will head to Akron for the Giant Eagle Zips Invitational starting tomorrow.