UB beats Towson in ’emotional’ season opener after first game was canceled

Sports

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Last week, UB men’s basketball head coach Jim Whitesell talked about the importance of taking things day-by-day and while it can sound cliche, in a season like this that’s exactly what teams need to do.

Nothing is guaranteed and anything can change at any moment. The Bulls have already experienced this as their original season opener against Division II Gannon was canceled. Gannon had to back out because of positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing, according to a release from the school. 

So UB finally got to play a game again on Friday in Connecticut as the Bulls beat Towson, 74-65 as part of the “Bubbleville” tournament.

“It’s a good lesson for us to learn right away is hey this is gonna be this way this season so every time you have an opportunity to appreciate playing make sure that you do it,” UB head coach Jim Whitesell said after the game.

“I know our guys were disappointed when the first game got canceled but we talked about it in practice and our first 20 minutes weren’t so great then our guys really picked it up and we had a great practice that day. I think a little bit of it is, we’re all trying to adjust to wearing masks, the different protocols, the way we sit, all those different things. But along with it when you have an opportunity, hey this is two hours you can really go and enjoy all that work you’ve been putting in.”

Junior Jeenathan Williams led the way with a game-high 28 points that also set a new-career high. Senior Jayvon Graves also ended in double digits with 20 points.

“It felt good to get out there any play again. There were a lot of emotions going before the game, we all were just so excited to be on the court again because with everything with COVID we were just so unsure of what would happen this year,” Jeenathan Williams explained.

Up next, the Bulls are right back at it Saturday afternoon again in Bubbleville to face Army West Point at 3 p.m.

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