CLEVELAND -- There were points of the University at Buffalo's season when life looked rather bleak.
And a loss in the first round of the Mid-American Conference tournament doesn't help end your season on a high note.
But with a young team still learning what college basketball is all about, the experience of a 69-68 loss to Miami on Wednesday night has plenty of bright spots, particularly in rebounding.
The Bulls held a 44-25 advantage on the glass and limited Miami to just four offensive rebounds all game. Rebounding is as much about effort and hard work as it is about positioning. UB won many of those 50-50 rebounds. Having grit and determination to win loose balls is not just a sign of a team that wants to win but a team that's willing to work for it. That can only mean good things for the future, as long as the youngsters don't get discouraged.
Unspoken in the post game press conference about how the game slipped away from the Bulls was the disparity in free throws. Miami made 20 of 24 attempts while UB had just 11 attempts (making nine). That stat is a bit unusual when you throw in 19 offensive rebounds for the Bulls. Shear effort in the paint should have earned them a few more trips to the line.
--- Amy Moritz