This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Sports Recap

Published: February 17, 2005

Athletes of the Week

Jake Blowers of the wrestling team scored a pin with 2:03 remaining against Kent State's Nick Brenner to help propel the Bulls to an 18-16 win over their Mid-American Conference rivals.

Jenny Koeppel of the women's track-and-field team earned the NCAA provisional standard in the 3,000-meter run at the Penn State Sykes-Sabock Challenge. The senior placed third in a very competitive field, and her time of 9:34.55 also established a new school record and personal best. The mark is also the fastest in the MAC this season.



UB 85, Western Michigan 79
UB 67, Ball State 58

UB earned a couple more firsts last week, picking up its first-ever victory at Western Michigan's University Arena, 85-79, followed by its first-ever national television appearance on Saturday—a 67-58 win over Ball State in Alumni Arena.

Against the Broncos, four Bulls scored in double-figures as they handed the Broncos only their second home loss in more than two years.

Leading 41-40 at the break, UB opened the second half on an 8-0 run to establish a 48-40 lead with 16:24 remaining. The Bulls extended their lead to 13 on a three-pointer by Parnell Smith with 5:15 remaining. Western Michigan (15-8, 8-5 MAC) managed to cut the lead to five points late in the game, but the Bulls hit enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for the six-point victory.

The Bulls were led by Turner Battle who had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. Jason Bird and Yassin Idbihi added 11 points apiece. Daniel Gilbert added 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds—six of which were of the offensive variety.

Saturday, the Bulls got to show off in front of a national audience for the first time in school history and made the most of the opportunity, downing Ball State, 67-58, on ESPN2, in front of 5,989 fans—the sixth largest crowd in Alumni Arena history.

Four Bulls scored in double-digits, led by Battle who netted 14 points and added seven rebounds and four assists. Mark Bortz added 13 points and Calvin Cage and Mario Jordan chipped in with 10 points apiece.

UB got off to a great start, taking a 17-6 lead with 12:11 left in the first half. However, the Cardinals closed the half on a 24-9 scoring run to take a 30-26 lead at the break. Turnovers hurt the Bulls in the first half as they coughed up the ball 11 times in the opening stanza.

Ball State extended its lead to 36-29 with 16:18 remaining. The Bulls battled back and an alley-oop dunk from Battle to Bortz tied the contest at 48 with 10:07 left in the game. After Idbihi gathered one of his game-high 12 rebounds, he laid the ball back in to give the Bulls the lead for good, 50-48, with 9:40 remaining. A layup by Peyton Stovall cut the UB lead to 59-58 with 3:12 left in the game. However, those were the last points scored by the Cardinals as the Bulls finished the game on a 8-0 run.


Western Michigan 70, UB 58
Eastern Michigan 71, UB 51
Central Michigan 69, UB 45

The Bulls dropped three conference games to the Michigan schools last week. UB is now 4-18 overall and 2-9 in the MAC.

The visiting Western Michigan Broncos erased a four-point halftime deficit with a 7-0 run to start the second half, and embarked on a 15-3 run with less than eight minutes to play to put the game away, finally earning a 70-58 win over the Bulls on Feb. 7 in Alumni Arena. Freshman Heather Turner led the Bulls' charge with 20 points and a game-high 13 boards. Junior Brooke Meunier added 17 points, five rebounds and three steals, and sophomore Belinda also reached double digits in scoring with 12 points.

The Bulls then made a road trip to Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan. Eastern Michigan used an 18-0 run midway through the second half to break a 41-41 tie en route to a 71-51 win on Feb. 9. Turner led the way for the Bulls with a strong first half. She was 5-for-5 and scored 11 of her team-leading 13 points in the first 20 minutes of play. Gibb also added 13 points and Meunier scored 12.

UB finished the week with a 69-45 loss on Saturday at Central Michigan. The Bulls got off to a slow start offensively and could not make up any ground in the second half. UB shot just 4-for-16 from the floor (25.0 percent) and committed 17 turnovers in the first 20 minutes of play, while Central Michigan shot 14-for-28 (50.0 percent) and had just eight turnovers.

UB had offensive spurts in the second half, with senior Allison Bennett scoring all eight of her points in the first seven minutes of the half and Meunier hitting three straight three-pointers late to cut the Chippewas' lead to 13, 56-43, with 5:24 to play. Central Michigan then closed the second half on a 13-2 run for the 69-45 final.



Cornell 168, UB 132

UB dropped a 168-132 decision at Cornell in the regular season finale for both squads. The Bulls finished dual meet competition at 3-9 overall.

The Bulls picked up five wins in the 16-event meet. Senior Jennifer Brankovsky posted two victories to lead the squad. Brankovsky opened the meet with a win in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:57.57. She later scored her second win with a victory in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:11.30. Brankovsky also placed second in the 100-yard butterfly in a season-best 58.66.

Senior Janet Reynolds cruised to a win in the 200-yard butterfly. Reynolds completed the distance in 2:08.03, nearly two and a half seconds ahead of the rest of the field and cutting her season-best by almost two seconds.

The Bulls also swept the diving competitions. Junior Ashlee Burton won the one-meter event with 258.30 points, while junior Miranda Matias earned her first victory as a member of the UB program on the three-meter board with 278.60 points. Burton finished second at 264.75 and Kimberly LaHaye was third at 257.65 to sweep the top three positions for the Bulls.


UB 18, Kent State 16

Trailing 16-9 to Kent State going into the final two matches, it seemed like UB was preparing for another tough MAC loss in Alumni Arena on Friday night.

However, a pin by sophomore Jake Blowers and a decision by freshman Nate Rock helped the Bulls score nine points and lift itself to an 18-16 win, its first MAC win in a meet that featured five one-point decisions. The win snapped a series of hard-luck MAC meets for the Bulls (2-10 overall, 1-4 MAC), who lost to Northern Illinois, 20-15, on Jan. 8, to Ohio, 20-13, on Jan. 30 and to Eastern Michigan, 20-19, on Feb. 5 in meets that all came down to the final match.

Blowers earned a takedown 1:40 into the opening period and 23 seconds later got Nick Brenner's right shoulder to touch the mat to earn his fifth pin of the season and bring UB within one at 16-15. In the final match, Rock earned a first-period takedown and a third-period reversal against Aaron Miller to help earn a 7-2 decision and clinch the 18-16 win for the Bulls.

Junior Harold Sherrell (197 pounds), sophomore Mark McKnight (125 pounds) and sophomore Mark Budd (133 pounds) also earned wins for the Bulls.

Indoor Track and Field

Squads finish 10th at Penn State meet

Six new school records and several regional qualifying times were set as UB competed at Penn State's Sykes-Sabok Challenge Cup on Saturday.

The UB women finished 10th in a field of 13 teams with 27 points. The host Nittany Lions won the meet with 121.50 points and Michigan was second at 110.

The UB men also were 10th in the 10-team meet with eight points, while Penn State scored 125 to hold off MAC member Central Michigan (115) and two-time Big Ten champion Michigan (114).

Senior distance runner Jenny Koeppel established a new school record and provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships with her third-place finish in the 3,000-meter run. Koeppel turned in a clocking of 9:34.55, breaking Judith Novak's 1994 record of 9:48.64 by more than 14 seconds. The time also qualified Koeppel for the ECAC Championships, to be held prior to the NCAA meet. UB junior Jen Jezorski was seventh in the race in 9:48.65, also qualifying for the ECAC meet and finishing one-hundredth of a second behind Novak's record. Jezorski now has qualified for the ECAC meet in four events: the 800-, 1,000- and 3,000-meters and the mile run.

Jezorski also was part of UB's record-setting foursome in the distance medley relay. The squad took fourth place in 11:44.97 to qualify for the ECAC meet and sliced nearly 15 seconds off the old mark of 11:59.40 set in 2003. Jezorski ran the first leg of the race and was followed by Stacy Downer, Kate Kohout and Kelli O'Brien.

Faith Thompson extended her own record in the shot put. Thompson finished third with a toss of 49-9 (15.16m), bettering the record she set at last weekend's Syracuse Invitational by two and a quarter inches. Thompson also scored in the weight throw with a fifth-place throw of 59-5.50 (18.12m).

Jessica Lister also earned a trip to the ECAC meet with her finish in the pole vault. The sophomore cleared 11-10 (3.61m) to place fifth overall.

Celestine Coney broke a school record as she placed 17th in the 400-meters. Coney's time of 56.73 was a tenth of a second better than Jenelle Callender's 2003 mark of 56.83. It also earned Coney an ECAC qualifying mark.

In the men's meet, Rayshon Higgins was UB's top scorer with a fourth-place showing in the triple jump. Higgins, who already has qualified for the IC4A Championships in the event, cleared 47-9 (14.55m), two inches off his season's best performance.

Todd Joki scored a six-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles. Joki broke the school record in the event with his 8.15 clocking, two seconds better than the 2002 mark of 8.17 set by Mario Hicks. The time also was a personal-best for Joki and earned the junior a spot in the field at the IC4A meet.

UB's distance medley relay squad earned an IC4A berth with its eighth-place finish in 10:11.25. The foursome consisted of Dan Giza, Chris McClure, Paul Riley and Dan McKenna.

Riley also established a new record in the mile with a ninth-place finish of 1:21.36, breaking Kevin Winkler1s 1996 record of 1:23.40.



Army 5, UB 2

For the third time this season, UB traveled to West Point to face Army in men's tennis action. In the Army Shootout in the fall and last Month's Army Winter Invitational the Bulls and Black Knights battled in tournament formats. Sunday's action was a dual meet with UB falling, 5-2.

The Bulls scored a pair of singles victories. Number two Mike Rockman defeated Sebastian Salas, 6-1, 6-3, while Matt Kennedy defeated Alex Chang, 6-0, 6-3, at number six. For Rockman, it was the 20th singles win of the season. The sophomore is 20-9 in singles play this season, including a 7-3 record as a number two seed. Rockman and Josh Liederman—UB's number two team—also picked up a doubles victory, knocking off John Houghton and Salas, 8-2.


Duquesne 5, UB 2

UB fell to Duquesne, 5-2, Friday afternoon in nonconference action at the Village Glen Tennis Center as the spring campaign opened for both squads. The loss is UB's first of the 2004-05 season, slipping the Bulls to 2-1 in dual meet play.

UB won one of three doubles matches to open play, unable to secure the first point of the contest.

In singles play, UB pulled out a pair of wins in straight sets. Katrin Fischer, at number three, downed Andrea Sailer, 6-2, 6-1. Sabrina Carmona, playing at number six and making her UB debut, scored a 7-6 (1), 6-3 win over Ciara McDermott.

Two other singles matches came down to the wire, with UB falling in super-tiebreakers in both matches for the 5-2 final score. At number two, Kristen Ortman fell to Jacqueline Hughes, 12-10, in the breaker. Ortman opened with 6-0 first set win while Hughes took the second set, 6-4, to force the tiebreaker. In the number four match, UB's Tina Jacob scored a 6-2 first-set win over Sarah Shanahan, but dropped the second set, 6-2, and the super-tiebreaker, 11-9, to end the match.


Opening weekend rained out

Heavy rain in Arizona on Friday and Saturday cancelled all of UB's games in the Arizona State Kajikawa Classic. The Bulls were scheduled to play five games—against New Mexico, Arizona State, No. 4 Texas, No. 18 Fresno State and Sacramento State—in the three-day, 19-team tournament.

The Bulls now will open the 2005 season on Feb. 25 at the Houston Invitational.