This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Sports Recap

Published: December 16, 2004

Athletes of the Week

Mark Bortz of the men's basketball team recorded a career-high 32 points in UB's 95-92 double-overtime win over Niagara on Saturday. Bortz also added 13 rebounds, two blocks and three steals, the final swipe coming with 2.2 seconds left to seal the win. He scored 13 points in an overtime win at Elon on Dec. 7 and now leads the Bulls at 15.3 points per game.

Brooke Meunier of the women's basketball team scored a career-high 25 points on nine field goals and five three-pointers in a 68-65 overtime loss to Niagara. In two games last week, she averaged 17.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists. Meunier is second on team in scoring (10.1 ppg) and rebounding (4.0 rpg) this season.



UB 70, Elon 63 (OT)
UB 95, Niagara 92 (2OT)

Two overtime thrillers highlighted the basketball team's week as the Bulls defeated Southern Conference member Elon, 70-63, on the road on Dec. 7 and then dropped Niagara, 95-92, in Alumni Arena on Saturday in a double-overtime shootout. UB is now 5-2 for the season.

Mark Bortz was the key factor in the Bulls' win over Niagara, with a career-high 32 points, 13 rebounds, two blocked shots and three steals.

A free throw by Bortz gave the Bulls a 65-56 lead with 7:26 remaining in the second half. However, Niagara mounted a 12-2 scoring run to take a 68-67 lead with one minute remaining in regulation. Mario Jordan was fouled with 1.8 seconds left and made one of two free throws to tie the game and send it to overtime.

UB took a 73-70 lead in overtime on a three-pointer by Calvin Cage and extended its lead to four on a layup by Bortz. However, four straight free throws by Juan Mendez tied the contest at 76-7, with 2:26 left in the first overtime. UB took an 82-79 lead on a pair of free throws by Bortz with 1:00 left in overtime, but David Brooks tied the game with a three-pointer on Niagara's next possession to force a second overtime.

The Purple Eagles (5-3) drew first blood in the second overtime on a pair of free throws by Mendez. The Niagara big man finished the night with 33 points, including 19-of-23 from the charity stripe. The Bulls scored four straight points to take an 86-84 lead with 2:59 left in the period. After Brooks tied the game with a jumper, UB took the lead for good on a putback by Brian Andre. The Purple Eagles cut the lead to 93-92 with six seconds left. However, Turner Battle calmly hit two free throws to give the Bulls a 95-92 lead with four seconds remaining. Bortz capped off his magical night by stealing the Niagara inbounds pass and dribbling off the remaining time on the clock.

With 3:45 left in the second overtime, Battle knocked down a free t give him 1,000 career points. It made him the 12th player in UB history to score 1,000 points. The senior point guard finished the night with 13 points, four rebounds and six assists. Cage tied a season high with 16 points, including three three-pointers, in 45 minutes of action. Yassin Idbihi also reached double-figures with 12 points and five rebounds, but was limited to only 26 minutes because of foul trouble.

Bortz's 32 points were the most by a UB player since Mike Martinho scored 44 points against Rochester on Feb. 3, 1998.

Earlier last week, the Bulls downed Elon, 70-63, in another overtime contest. It was a homecoming game for Battle, whose hometown is just 45 minutes from the Elon campus. The senior point guard didn't disappoint his hometown fans, as he scored a season-high 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Battle was one of five UB players to reach double-figures in the scoring column. Idbihi and Bortz each tallied 13 points. Both players were especially assertive in the second half as they scored nine and 11 second-half points, respectively. Daniel Gilbert added 11 points and Cage notched 10 points.

The game featured 13 lead changes and 15 ties, with neither team grasping a lead of more than five points through regulation. Trailing by three points with 4:06 remaining, Cage drained a three-pointer to tie the contest, 54-54. The Bulls pulled ahead, 57-54, with 2:23 left in regulation, but following a turnover, the Phoenix tied the game on a three-pointer by Montell Watson with 1:17 remaining. A three-point attempt by Cage with two seconds remaining in regulation rimmed out and the game went to overtime.

After trading baskets early in the overtime session, Cage nailed his third three-pointer of the game to give the Bulls a 64-61 lead with 2:17 remaining. With UB leading, 65-63, Gilbert hit a three-pointer to give the Bulls a five-point advantage. UB played stingy defense the rest of the way to keep the Phoenix off of the scoreboard for the remainder of the overtime.

The Bulls' next opponent is cross-town rival Canisius. Tipoff is slated for 8:45 p.m. on Saturday in the Koessler Center.


Bucknell 68, UB 56
Niagara 68, UB 65 (OT)

UB put forth a pair of strong efforts, but fell in non-conference matchups against Bucknell and Niagara. The Bulls are now 1-6 for the season.

In Saturday's matchup with Niagara, the Bulls showed a lot of fight, overcoming a 12-point deficit midway through the second half to force overtime before eventually falling to the visiting Purple Eagles, 68-65, in Alumni Arena. Junior Brooke Meunier led all scorers with a career-high 25 points, and freshman Heather Turner (13 points, career-high 16 rebounds) and senior Allison Bennett (12 points, career-high 11 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles for the Bulls.

Niagara took a 10-0 lead to open the game, holding the Bulls scoreless until the 14:14 mark when a layup by Meunier finally got UB on the board. After the Purple Eagles opened up a 13-point lead, their largest of the game, to go up 23-10 with 7:49 on the clock, the Bulls embarked on a 16-5 run to close the half and go to the locker room down by just two, 28-26.

A jumper by freshman Stephanie Bennett on the opening possession of the second half tied the score, and UB took its first lead of the game, 31-30, on a three-pointer by Meunier at the 18:43 mark. Niagara, however, broke a 34-34 tie with a 13-1 run to go back up by 12, 47-35, with 10:07 remaining in regulation. The Bulls were held scoreless for over six minutes during the run before a three-pointer by Allison Bennett at 9:43 started their comeback. An 8-0 run brought UB to within four, 47-43, with 8:40 to play, and a jumper by sophomore Belinda Gibb at the 4:27 mark brought the Bulls to within one, 51-50. Niagara's Toni Smalley came up with a steal, an offensive rebound and a layup to give Niagara a 53-50 cushion at the 3:52 mark, but a three-pointer by Meunier tied things up with 2:01 on the clock. Niagara's Eva Cunningham answered with a jumper on the Purple Eagles' next possession, but Allison Bennett immediately followed with a jumper in the lane to tie the score at 55-55 with 1:10 to go in the second half. Both teams missed two shots in the final minute of play to send the game to overtime.

A jumper by Meunier at the 2:24 mark of OT gave UB a 62-61 lead, but Niagara's Shaunna Ambrose followed with a three-point play and Cunningham added two free throws to put NU up, 66-62, with 12 seconds on the clock. A three-pointer by Meunier with eight seconds to go brought the Bulls to within one, 66-65, but Cunningham knocked down two clutch free throws with five seconds left and the Bulls' last-second shot didn't fall, securing the win for Niagara.

Earlier in the week, UB let a seven-point first-half lead slip away by committing costly turnovers and missing key shots to drop a 68-56 decision at Bucknell. Turner led the Bulls with game highs of 19 points and eight rebounds.

The Bulls started strong, with Turner scoring six points in the first six minutes of the game and a three-pointer by Stephanie Bennett putting them up by seven, 13-6, at the 14:01 mark of the first half. Buffalo later held a 17-10 lead before the Bison put together a 12-2 run, taking the lead for good, 21-19, at the 4:52 mark on a steal and layup by Lindsey Hollobaugh. The turnover on that play was the second of six that the Bulls committed in the final 5:11 of the first half, and Bucknell gradually built a double-digit lead, 32-22, before going into halftime up by eight, 32-24.

UB scored the first two buckets of the second half to cut the deficit to four, 32-28, but the Bulls turned the ball over on four straight possessions and Bucknell quickly led by 10, 46-36, with 12:06 to play. The Bison went up 54-41, their largest lead of the game, before UB showed some fight with a 6-0 run to cut the lead to seven, 54-47, with 5:46 on the clock. After another UB turnover, Bucknell's Rachel Hanley hit a jumper as the shot clock expired, putting the Bison up 56-47 and taking the momentum away from the Bulls. A three-pointer by Allison Bennett with 2:19 to play brought UB to within six, 60-54, but the Bulls shot just 1-for-6 from the floor in the final two minutes of the game, while Bucknell knocked down 6-of-9 free throws to secure the victory.

The Bulls will face Canisius on Saturday in a doubleheader with the Men's team. The women's game will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Koessler Center.


Edinboro 24, UB 9

Eastern Wrestling League power Edinboro scored eight decisions to come away with a 24-9 dual meet win against UB in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon at Jamestown Community College.

Sophomore Mark McKnight started the meet off strong for the Bulls (0-2 overall), pinning freshman Greg Sill with 10 seconds to go in the 125-pound match, giving the Bulls a 6-0 lead. McKnight, ranked 13th by Intermat and 14th by the Amateur Wrestling News, improved to 11-6 with the win.

Edinboro (4-0 overall) reeled off seven straight wins after McKnight's victory, as ranked wrestlers Shawn Bunch (133), Nate Yetzer (165) and Eric Ring (174) each posted wins. However, Bunch, the fourth-ranked wrestler in both Intermat and Amateur Wrestling News, barely escaped with a 6-4 decision against sophomore Mark Budd. It was Budd's second loss to Bunch this season, the first a 6-4 decision at the Las Vegas Invitational the previous weekend.

Junior Harold Sherrell posted a 2-0 win against Mike Labella at 197 to bring the score to 21-9. Sherrell posted an escape in the second period and earned a point for riding time to post his sixth win of the year.

Sophomore Jeff Parker dropped the heavyweight match to cap the contest to 16th-ranked Joe Hennis.

UB next will hit the mats tomorrow, traveling to Newark, Del., for the Beast of the East Tournament, one of the top-rated tournaments in the country. The Bulls will host the UB Open on Dec. 30. Action will begin at 10 a.m.


Woods honored by The Sporting News

Freshman punter Ben Woods has earned recognition by The Sporting News on its annual All-Freshman teams.

Woods earned a spot on the third team after nearly breaking the all-time UB single-season record for punting average as a true freshman. Woods finished the season with an average of 41.2 yards per punt on 72 total punts, just missing the school record of 41.7 yards per kick. Woods, who finished sixth among punters in the Mid-American Conference in average, had the longest punt in the conference this season with his 68-yarder at Akron. In addition, Woods had 12 of his punts downed inside the 20-yard line.