Fast observations from UB's 72-57 victory over Canisius in the second game of the Big Four double-header at First Niagara Center.
x Hello Lamonte Bearden. A crowd of 7,191 saw what the hype is about regarding the 6-foot-3 freshman from Wisconsin. He scored a game-high 23 points on 9 of 13 shooting. Bearden scored about every way possible. He penetrated off the dribble to hit two driving floaters in the lane and came hard off a high-post screen to hit a third floater. He made a spin move in the lane to get to the rim for a layup. He used a crossover dribble to drive the lane and score for an “old-fashioned” three-point play. He hit two shots behind the three-point arc. He had a fast-break layup and a fast-break alley-oop bucket.
“I like to shoot floaters a lot,” Bearden said. “I just was hitting shots tonight. It was a good night for me.”
x UB outscored Canisius in transition, 20-2, and outscored the Griffs in the paint, 42-24. There was a clear talent disparity.
x Canisius, like a lot of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference teams, is reliant on its guard play, and when the guards are "D'd up" like they were against UB, times are tough. Canisius shot 2 of 12 on three-pointers in the first half, 6 of 25 from behind the arc for the game and 32 percent from the field overall.
x UB shot 48.3 percent.
x UB got 18 points and 12 rebounds from junior power forward Justin Moss. A good day at the office.
x The best thing to say about Canisius is it looked marvelous in the Columbia blue Braves throwback uniforms. They were the best of the four. Second best was UB's white with powder blue and black trim. Third best was the early-70s orange with black and white trim that Bona wore. Fourth best but still pretty nice was Niagara's white with purple and black slash stripes. We're partial to the McAdoo-Randy-ErnieD glory-days uniforms.
x All is not lost for the Griffs. They have nine freshman or sophomores. There are going to be days like these. Canisius gave Bona all it could handle earlier this week.
x The UB-Bona matchup on Wednesday in Olean figures to be a doozy. Two athletic good teams. It's going to be fun to watch. UB and Bona both are 4-1.
x The crowd was nice - 7,191. The Canisius fans didn't have much to cheer about. The coaches and ADs at the four schools need to keep this double-header going.