BUFFALO, NY – On Saturday, Bryant & Stratton College – Buffalo started off the new year on a high note defeating Bryant & Stratton College – Cleveland at Burt Flickinger Athletic Center, 89-66.
The inter-school match up was the first time Buffalo faced off against their Cleveland counterpart since the beginning of the year, when the two teams met in an opening season scrimmage at the Cleveland Cavalier’s Q Arena in downtown Cleveland, OH. Since then, Bryant & Stratton College – Cleveland struggled, while Bryant & Stratton College – Buffalo followed a much different trajectory, fighting to find consistency among the high and low points of the season.
In the first half, Buffalo got started quickly, outscoring Cleveland at will. Nicc Johnson got the hot hand and knocked down five three pointers, rarely missing from deep. Around Johnson, were several players willing to be his supporting cast, including one freshman forward, Bryant Fulton, who contributed 6 points, and Damone Brown Jr. who scored 9 points.
For Cleveland, things looked less positive; De’Sean Reed seemed to be the only one who got going, scoring 12 points, but doing so in a crafty fashion. Unfortunately, for Reed, his team went into the locker room at the half down, 44-26.
In the second half, Johnson continued his onslaught for Buffalo. Early on, he swished two more three pointers and kept the energy for his team high. But, the second half would not belong to Johnson alone. Tyrell Mitchell woke up after a slow first half, where he scored only 2 points, to shoot 7-11 from the field, finishing the game with 22 points.
For Cleveland, this was bad news. Despite shooting better from the field and playing a more evenly matched game in the second half, they would ultimately run out of steam to make a comeback.
In the USCAA Basketball Week 3 Coaches Poll updated on 12/12/18, Bryant & Stratton – Buffalo was ranked fourth in the nation, and three of the team’s starters were posting impressive numbers. Nicc Johnson and Tyrell Mitchell were tied for the sixth spot in points per game with 18.7, while Jordan Street ranked fifteenth in the national ranks for rebounds per game.
However, since the coaches poll, a lot has happened. Buffalo pulled off some impressive wins in the first half of the season, including one versus cross-city rival and USCAA division II powerhouse, Villa Maria, but also dropped some tough losses to solid basketball teams. Beginning 2019, Bryant & Stratton College – Cleveland falls to 0-9, while Bryant & Stratton College – Buffalo improves to 9-5.
The Bryant & Stratton College - Buffalo Bobcats hit the road to play the Bryant & Stratton – Albany Bobcats on Friday, Jan. 11th. Tipoff is 6pm at Sage College.
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