Extra points from UB's 88-62 rout of Niagara Friday night at Alumni Arena.
x Backup power forward Xavier Ford had his first career double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. He's in a key role as the primary backup to front-court men Justin Moss and Will Regan. UB has 6-10 junior Raheem Johnson as a backup. He's a true center. Ford is averaging 18 minutes, 5.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. That's 0.4 rebounds a minute, which is pretty good. If he could give UB 5.0 points and 7.0 rebounds a game, that would be huge for the Bulls.
UB coach Bobby Hurley on Ford: "I’m as happy for X as anybody in terms of how he’s playing. There’s no one that deserves it more. He’s had a tremendous attitude from day one with me. He does so many things that contribute to winning. For me as a coach I don’t have to call a tremendous number of plays for X he finds ways to fill up the stat sheet."
"Just his energy he brings, his defense, blocking shots around the basket, his athleticism. He’s a good teammate. He’s a good communicator. He works hard in practice. There were days he was in here at 6 a.m. in the summer, working on his shot. If we’re going to climb the mountain and have the kind of season we want, a big part of it’s going to be this guy and how he competes and plays for us."
x UB outrebounded Niagara, 48-27, outshot the Purple Eagles, 50 percent to 36 percent, and outscored them from the free throw line, 27-15. Niagara did a decent job with its 2-3 zone defense the first 15 minutes, discouraging UB from dominating inside. But it could not hold up. And Niagara doesn't have nearly enough scoring options to hang with UB.
x Shannon Evans had 20 points, was 12 of 13 from the foul line, and had eight assists. Niagara could not stop him from penetrating the lane.
x Evans was called for a technical foul for dunking during warmups. Niagara took two free throws (and made one) before the game even began. This is a stupid rule.
x Hurley on the dunking rule: "I think it’s an outdated rule. I told one of the officials I understand they have to enforce the rules, but it is a rule that needs to be examined. It makes no sense to me."
x Hurley on Evans: "I’m proud of Shannon because he struggled. Unfortunately he had the technical, which I never had to worry about because I couldn’t jump as high as him, so I never would have done that before the game. Then he rallied from that, then he had a layup he missed. I could tell he’s fighting himself in his mind because he wants to play well. Things weren’t going exactly great for him early in the first half. But the maturity of his game and the development to pull himself out of that and find a way to have a really good game for us."
x Niagara's opponents are 52-26. But with a front line of 6-5, 6-5 and 6-4, Niagara has trouble against size.
x Niagara coach Chris Casey: "They played extremely well. We didn’t respond to their physical play and we did not compete hard enough in the second half. We gotta score. You can’t keep putting pressure on your defense to get stop after stop after stop and then not score. . . . I think it’s turnovers. I think it’s making a few more open shots. I think it’s going through some of this to get some experience. . . . We just have to fight through it."