This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Sports Recap

Published: March 10, 2005

Athletes of the Week

Roderick Middleton of the men's basketball team scored 15 points with a career-best five three-pointers as the Bulls defeated Akron, 72-56. Middleton's three treys in the second half propelled UB on a 14-4 run that put the game away. In UB's two games last week, he averaged 12.5 points and 4.5 rebounds and is shooting 55 percent (11-for-20) from beyond the arc over the last four games.

Stacy Downer of the women's track-and-field team earned two All-East recognitions as part of a pair of record-setting relay teams at the ECAC Championships in Boston. Downer, a sophomore, anchored the 4x400-meter relay to a sixth-place finish in a UB record 3:46.05 after helping the squad to record-breaking (3:47.25) in the preliminary round. She also was part of the distance medley-relay team that posted another school record of 11:40.67 to finish fourth overall.



UB 73, Northern Illinois University 66
UB 72, Akron 56
Ohio University 90, UB 77

UB held off a feisty Northern Illinois squad, 73-66, in the opening round of the First Energy Mid-American Conference Tournament on Monday night in Alumni Arena. The Bulls advance to Cleveland for the second straight year and will face Toledo in the quarterfinal round at noon today.

UB was led by Daniel Gilbert, who had 15 points and eight rebounds—both team highs. Turner Battle and Roderick Middleton also reached double-figures with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Northern Illinois (11-17) took a 12-11 lead on a jumper by Cory Sims with 10:58 left in the first half. On the ensuing possession, Battle picked up his second foul and was forced to sit for the remainder of the half. However, Middleton and Calvin Cage filled in admirably at the point-guard position and sparked a 17-5 scoring run. A steal and layup by Cage gave the Bulls a 28-17 lead with 4:51 left in the half. The Huskies closed the half on a 13-6 run to cut the UB advantage to 34-30 at the break.

The Bulls led for much of the second half, but couldn't pull away due in large part to the three-point shooting of Northern Illinois. A pair of free throws by Parnell Smith gave the Bulls a 54-48 lead with 8:10 left in the game. The Huskies battled back to tie the game at 58 and later took a 61-60 lead on a three-pointer by Anthony Maestranzi with 4:59 remaining. The lead was short-lived as the Bulls went on an 8-0 scoring run to take a 68-61 lead with 1:39 remaining. During the run, six of the eight points came following offensive rebounds. Gilbert led the charge on the offensive glass with five offensive boards. The Bulls had 13 offensive rebounds in the second half alone.

The Huskies wouldn't go quietly, and cut the Bulls' lead to 69-66 with 37 seconds remaining. However, Northern Illinois couldn't score again as the Bulls played stifling defense in the final minute. Middleton and Battle each made a steal on consecutive possessions and put the game on ice by converting free throws.

UB had only 10 turnovers in the game, including four in the second half. The Bulls' defense forced 17 Northern Illinois turnovers. UB outrebounded Northern Illinois, 38-36.

The win set a new school record for victories in a season.

The Bulls had closed the regular season on Saturday with a 72-56 victory over Akron in Alumni Arena. A crowd of 6,345—the largest of the season and the third-largest turnout in Alumni Arena history—was on hand to salute the four UB seniors playing in the final regular-season home game of their storied careers.

With the game tied at 35, the Bulls went on a 14-4 run to take a 51-39 lead with 12:02 left in the game. The key to the scoring run was the outside shooting of Middleton. The junior guard nailed three-straight treys to tie a career-high with five in the game. Akron cut the lead to 53-47 with 8:33 remaining. But that was as close as the Zips got as the Bulls mounted a 10-2 scoring run to take a 63-49 lead with 6:01 left in the game. The Bulls held Akron to only seven points in the final six minutes en route to the 16-point victory.

Gilbert led the Bulls with 17 points and nine rebounds-both season highs. Middleton added 15 points. Battle tied a career high with nine assists to go along with 13 points and three steals. Battle's final assist was a behind-the-back pass to a trailing Gilbert, who laid it in for two.

UB attacked the glass, pulling down a season-high 55 rebounds. Yassin Idbihi and Mario Jordan both reached double-figures in rebounds with 10 apiece.

Earlier in the week, Ohio used a 53-point second-half outburst to down the Bulls, 90-77, on March 2 and snap the Bulls' five-game winning streak.

UB jumped out to a 23-13 lead in the first half and led 38-37 at the break, but Ohio opened the second half with a three-point barrage. The Bobcats nailed five treys in the first five minutes of the second half to spark a 19-5 scoring run and quickly take control of the contest, 59-43. Trailing 72-58, the Bulls hit three straight three-pointers by Idbihi, Middleton and Battle, respectively, to cut the Ohio advantage to 72-67 with 3:31 remaining. However, that was as close as the Bulls got as the Bobcats converted their free throws down the stretch to pull away for the 13-point victory. Ohio shot 53.1 percent for the game, including a sizzling 60.9 percent in the second half.


Kent State 85, UB 33
Eastern Michigan 79, UB 46

UB concluded the 2004-05 season with a pair of losses, ending the year with a 4-24 overall record.

The Bulls fell at Kent State, 85-33, on March 1 to close the regular season. UB shot just 26.7 percent from the floor (12-for-45).

UB finished the season with a 79-46 loss to Eastern Michigan in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Saturday.

Leading 14-8 just under eight minutes into the first half, Eastern Michigan embarked on a 25-2 run over a nine-minute stretch to take control of the game. The Eagles led by 29 at halftime, 46-17, and by as many as 42 points in the second half en route to the 79-46 final.

Freshman Heather Turner led the Bulls with team highs of 15 points and seven rebounds. Senior Allison Bennett and junior Brooke Meunier finished with nine points apiece. Sophomore Belinda Gibb added six points.

The Bulls shot just 35.2 percent (19-for-54) in the game.

Indoor track and field

Success for women's squad at ECAC Championships

UB's indoor track-and-field teams competed at their regional championships in Boston over the weekend. The women, at the ECAC Championships, took 11th among 48 scoring teams in the meet with 26 points. The men competed at the IC4A Championships where the team set a new relay record but was unable to crack into the scoring column.

Faith Thompson set another school record in the weight throw on Sunday. Thompson turned in a toss of 65-6.75 (19.98m) to extend her own record in the event by more than 10 inches and improve her NCAA provisional qualifying mark. She finished third overall in the event. Sarah Vance was 17th in the event with a toss of 53-2.25 (16.21m). In the shot put, Vance posted a fifth-place finish with a toss of 46-3.25 (14.10m), while Thompson, the UB record-holder in the event, finished seventh overall with a throw of 45-5.25 (13.85m).

UB relayers set two records on Sunday. The 4x400-meter relay team of Celestine Coney, Patrice Coney, Vashone Wallace and Stacy Downer finished sixth in 3:46.05. The time was the second record in two days for the foursome after qualifying for the finals with a 3:47.25 showing on Saturday. Downer also was part of UB's record-setting distance medley-relay team, which finished fourth in 11:40.67. The foursome included Jen Jezorski, Downer, Kate Kohout and Kelli O'Brien.

Jenny Koeppel improved her school record with a third-place finish in the women's 5,000-meter run. Koeppel turned in a time of 16:34.04, lowering her school record and NCAA provisional qualifying time by more than 20 seconds.

Thompson, Vance, Koeppel and both relay teams also earned All-East recognition at the meet. The top eight finishers in each event are named to the All-East squad.

In the men's meet, the Bulls turned in a record-setting performance in the distance medley relay. The foursome of Paul Riley, Brian Heim, Chris McClure and Steve Strelick crossed the finish line in 10:04.13, two-tenths of a second better than the 2003 record. The team finished 11th overall among 26 entries.

Todd Joki finished 11th in the long jump at 22-1.50 (6.74m) and 23rd in the 55-meter hurdles in 7.83. Dan McKenna finished 13th in the mile run in 4:13.93. Onile White took 18th in the 1,000-meters in 2:30.00. Mike Giordano finished 18th in the shot put with a throw of 48-1.75 (14.67m).


McKnight earns NCAA wild-card slot

Sophomore Mark McKnight finished second in the 125-pound weight class, the highest finisher at the Mid-American Conference Championships, which wrapped up Saturday afternoon at Kent State University.

McKnight lost the championship match to Central Michigan's Luke Smith, 2-1. Smith is ranked 18th in the NWCA/Intermat poll and was the top-seeded wrestler in the tournament. McKnight was seeded second and was ranked 19th in the NWCA/Intermat poll.

After the championship-round match, McKnight rebounded by pinning Drew Opfer of Kent State in the true-second place match. With the second win over Opfer, McKnight improved his season record to 27-13 and earned a wild-card berth to the NCAA Tournament in St. Louis on March 17. McKnight, the lone qualifier from the Bulls, lost in the All-American Round at nationals last year.

Central Michigan wrapped up its fourth-straight conference championship, finishing with 119.5 points. Northern Illinois came in second with 59 points, followed by host school Kent State with 46.5 points. Ohio, Eastern Michigan and UB rounded out the scoring.



Bulls set 20 lifetime bests at MAC Championships

Although it didn't show in the final point totals, UB concluded the 2005 MAC Championships on Saturday night on a positive note with several lifetime-best swims.

Defending champion Eastern Michigan rolled to its sixth consecutive and 25th title in school history with 1,008 points, easily outdistancing second-place Miami's 768 points. Ball State (571), Ohio University (465) and UB (263) followed.

In Saturday night's finals, Geoff Wells posted a lifetime best with his sixth-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke. Wells finished in 2:06.76, nearly three-quarters of a second better than his previous best.

Mark Sy just missed his record in the 200-yard butterfly with his 1:52.79 clocking in the finals to finish seventh overall. The time improved on Sy's season-best 1:53.16 in the preliminary round and was just four-tenths of a second off his school record set in 2003. On the meet's opening night, Sy was the lone Bull to compete in an individual championship final, finishing eighth in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:47.26. He reached the championship final by qualifying eighth in the preliminary heats with a 4:38.18 clocking, slicing eight seconds off his season-best mark.

On Friday, UB won four consolation championships, earning ninth-place overall finishes. Sy won the 400-yard individual medley consolation with a season-best showing of 4:07.06, cutting his previous best by more than four seconds and touching out second-place finisher Luke Herlehy of Ohio University by three seconds. Jon Yarger took the 200-yard freestyle consolation in a lifetime-best 1:42.72. This was Yarger's second consolation championship in his career, after posting the consolation title in the 500-yard freestyle at last season's meet at Eastern Michigan. Wells won his third consecutive consolation final in the 100-yard breaststroke with a 58.15 showing. Luke Adams, named the MAC Swimmer of the Week for his performance at the ECAC meet, took the 100-yard backstroke consolation final in 52.75.

Dustin Hui turned in a season-best performance in the grueling 1,650-yard freestyle race. The senior distance specialist finished in 17:04.10, slicing eight seconds off his mark at last week's ECAC Championships.

Yarger, Sy, Jeff Hurst and Evan McCormack made up the fourth-place 800-yard freestyle relay finishing in a season-best 6:57.72. UB's 200-yard medley relay of Kurt Bessel, Wells, Kevin Gatley and Yarger finished fifth in 1:37.00. The 400-yard freestyle-relay team of Hurst, Yarger, Erik Schwarz and Gatley posted a season-best time of 3:09.25 to finish fifth, while the 400-yard medley relay of Adams, Wells, Sy and Hurst finished in a season-best 3:29.12.

The Bulls posted 12 lifetime bests on Saturday alone and 20 in the three days of the MAC Championships.



UB 7, Duquesne 0

Nick Zieziula became UB's all-time leader in singles wins as the Bulls (4-5) defeated Duquesne, 7-0, on Sunday in Pittsburgh.

UB opened the match by taking two of the three doubles competitions to claim the point. Zieziula and Yules Hadisubroto defeated Devon Peightal and Michael Ortega, 8-5, at number one. The number-three team of Matt Kennedy and Albert Alant knocked off Robert Ojeda and Adam Townsend, 8-2, to secure the point. The lone blemish on the day was the number-two team of Mike Rockman and Alejandro Galindo falling to Paul Clough and Rodrigo Lacayo, 8-1.

The Bulls swept the six singles matches, led by Zieziula's straight-sets win, 7-5, 6-3, over Peightal at number one. The win gave Zieziula his 65th career singles victory, passing Fery Kasiman (1999-2003) who previously held the mark with 64 wins. Zieziula is now 65-56 for his four years with the Bulls.

UB players need three sets to take the number two, three and four matches. Rockman rallied from a first-set loss to down Lacavo, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 for his 21st singles win, leading the Bulls in the category this season. Hadisubroto and Ortega split the first two sets of the number-three match before Hadisubroto sailed through the final set to claim the 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 win. At number four, Alant also had to overcome a first-set deficit before defeating Townsend, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. Kennedy, at number five, rolled to a straight-sets win over Clough, 6-1, 6-2. Galindo defeated Ojeda in straight sets, 7-6 (7-3 in the tiebreaker), 6-2.


Georgia Southern 13, UB 1
Georgia Southern 14, UB 6
Georgia Southern 8, UB 5

UB was swept in three-game series by Georgia Southern over the weekend in Statesboro, Ga. UB is now 0-6 to open the 2005 campaign.

On Friday, UB's lone run came in the top of the sixth as freshman Mike Folli scored when Andy Wengert was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Adam Ruszkowski (0-1) took the loss for the Bulls, allowing five runs off 10 hits in five-plus innings.

UB was hounded by control problems on Saturday, as the pitching staff allowed eight walks and also hit two batters, as well as allowing 11 hits in the 14-6 loss to the Eagles. The Bulls took a 3-0 lead in the first inning when shortstop Joe Mihalics rapped a double to right field to plate the first run. A groundout and a sacrifice fly brought two more runs home.

The Bulls added three runs in the seventh inning when junior Aaron Otto singled with one out and junior outfielder Tony Tasner followed with a pinch-hit double—his first hit since 2003—put runners on second and third. Phil Vanhorne singled to score Otto and a fielding error allowed Tasner to score. After a flyout, Mihalics came through with a double to score Vanhorne. Vanhorne and Mihalics each had two-hit days for the Bulls. Tasner also went 2-for-2 with a run after entering the game in the seventh.

On Sunday, a Bulls rally fell short as UB dropped the series finale, 8-5, after trailing 5-0 in the seventh inning. James Kingsley hit two home runs in the final three innings to finish 3-for-4 with five RBI. Sophomore Al Barbato added three hits in five trips to the plate for the Bulls.


Indiana 4, UB 0
UB 2, Western Kentucky 1
Austin Peay 3, UB 0
Tennessee-Martin 6, UB 1
Austin Peay 6, UB 1

UB went 1-4 in the three-day Western Kentucky Invitational. The Bulls were shut out in their opening game by Indiana, 4-0, but then rebounded for a 2-1 win over the host Hilltoppers in their final game on Friday. On Saturday, UB dropped contests to Austin Peay, 3-0, and Tennessee-Martin, 6-1. The Bulls (2-8) concluded the tournament with a 6-1 loss to Austin Peay on Sunday.

In the win over Western Kentucky, Buffalo scored both of its runs in the top of the fifth inning, with senior Ann Magur and sophomore Mary Russell picking up the RBIs. Both Magur and Russell finished 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in the game.

Russell drove in the Bulls' lone run in the 6-1 loss to Tennessee-Martin on Saturday, while Laura Kor hit a two-out solo home run in the top of the second inning in the 6-1 decision to Austin Peay on Sunday.