Defensive effort lifts Bulls over Tribe

Sports

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — If you’re a fan of defensive-minded basketball, followed by explosive offensive plays, today’s UB men’s basketball game was the perfect one to watch.

The Bulls took down a solid William & Mary team 88-77 at Alumni Arena on Saturday afternoon. Jayvon Graves led the way with a team high 24 points, while Davonta Jordan scored 18 points of his own, and had seven of UB’s 15 steals on defense.

“It started with our preparation, all week we’ve been going over their plays, just watching their personnel, so constantly just watching film then translating it out on the court,” senior Davonta Jordan said. “Ball pressure is something we preach on, so me going out there and being a leader and a senior, I just go out there and set the tone with ball pressure and hopefully get them to panic and then force turnovers.”

So what does it feel like to force a turnover, to literally take the ball out of someone else’s hands?

“It feels really good,” Jordan laughed. “I work on my defense a lot, and for me to go out there and take the ball from somebody else it shows that it’s all paying off and that I can defend.”

This young team continues to play hard fought basketball and put together scrappy wins, and head coach Jim Whitesell says the tough November schedule will only continue to serve as a springboard for the team. An equally tough December schedule lies ahead before they enter MAC play.

“You’d always love to have our season opener back, but we as a group owned it. We said we were going to own it and go back and work harder,” head coach Jim Whitesell said. “We’ve played a really good schedule in November, I think that’s a real positive. Obviously our schedule doesn’t get any easier going on the road next week.”

“One of the things you want to continue to do is you want to continue to grow. We’ve talked about okay when you play in Charleston, or you play Harvard, you play William & Mary, I mean those are good basketball teams. These are going to get you ready for league play, and our fans want to see that.”

“They want to see good basketball out there. These guys want to play against good competition, and we’re certainly going to do that on Tuesday,” Whitesell said. “I do think in November we made good progress, especially after game one.”

“We need to make another jump as a group in December, so it’s going to be good and challenging and we look forward to it, and we know we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Whitesell said.

The Bulls are on the road next week as they take on Vanderbilt and DePaul, then they return home on Saturday the 14th when Army comes to town.

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