University at Buffalo junior Justin Moss was named as one of the 16 finalists for the Karl Malone Award, given to the top power forward in the country.
Moss and the Bulls (15-9, 6-6 Mid-American Conference) will be on the road Wednesday night, trying to end a three-game losing streak when they face Eastern Michigan (16-9, 5-7 MAC) in Ypsilanti, Mich., (Radio 1520 AM, 7 p.m.).
The Malone Award is one of five positional awards created by the Basketball Hall of Fame. Others are The Bob Cousy Award (point guard), The Jerry West Award (shooting guard), The Julius Erving Award (small forward) and the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award (center). The finalists will be narrowed to five, and the winners will be announced April 10 on ESPN.
Other finalists are: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona), Kevon Looney (UCLA), Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), David Laury (Iona), Aaron White (Iowa), Georges Niang (Iowa State), Perry Ellis (Kansas), Jordan Mickey (LSU), Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), Jake Layman (Maryland), Christian Wood (UNLV), Seth Tuttle (Northern Iowa), Myles Turner (Texas), Larry Nance Jr. (Wyoming) and Rico Gathers (Baylor).
Moss, one of the most improved players in the nation, leads the Mid-American Conference both in scoring (18.7 ppg) and rebounding (9.1).
UB’s string of losses, including home defeats against Toledo and Central Michigan, has landed it in fourth place in the MAC East Division, two games behind second-place Akron and Kent State, (each 8-4). EMU stands fourth in the MAC West. It’s the only scheduled meeting of the teams this season. The last time they met, Eastern ended UB’s season. 69-64, in the conference tournament last March.
The St. Bonaventure men (13-10, 6-6 A-10) also will be trying to end a losing streak Wednesday night when they face Richmond (13-12, 6-6 A-10) in the Reilly Center in Olean (TWS, Radio 1450 AM, 7 p.m.). It’s the second meeting of the season between the Atlantic 10 Conference teams. Richmond won the first, 60-41, at the Robins Center in Richmond, Va. One big factor in that outcome was three-point shooting. The hosts Spiders were 7 for 21 from three-point range. Bona was 0 for 10 and hitting a season-low point total.
Junior Jakeem Alston is expected to make his second start in place of freshman guard Jay Adams, who is out indefinitely due to a fracture/dislocation of the ring finger on his right hand.
UB and St. Bonaventure women’s teams both will play conference games Wednesday night.
The Bulls will play the first game of their season series with Kent State at Alumni Arena (7 p.m.)
Kristen Sharkey, who was named Big 4 women’s Player of the Week for the fourth time this season, leads the Bulls against the Golden Flashes.
Sharkey averaged 17.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in a 1-1 week for the Bulls. She led all scorers with 22 points in the loss at Akron. On Saturday, she led the Bulls to a 10-point victory at MAC West-leading Western Michigan with a game-best 13 points and 11 rebounds. Sharkey raised her career point total to 1,156 to move her into ninth all-time at UB.
The Bona women (13-12, 3-9 A-10) will face Saint Louis (13-12, 6-6 A-10) at 8 p.m. at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. The host Billikens are led by 6-foot-3 freshman center Sadie Stipanovich, who is averaging 14.0 ppg and shooting .504 from the field. She’s the daughter of former University of Missouri star center Steve Stipanovich, who played three seasons in the NBA for the Indiana Pacers.