BUFFALO, NY – On Friday, November 30th, Erie Community College played neighboring Bryant & Stratton College – Buffalo, defeating a young and developing Bobcat's team with savvy veteran play, 110-82.
From tip off, it appeared that the two teams were going to battle it out. Bryant & Stratton – Buffalo came into the contest 4-1, their only loss being a close one on the road, falling to Alfred University weeks ago. Since then, they bounced back with a strong win versus Point Park. ECC came in at a perfect 7-0, breezing through most of their competition, winning games by 20 points or more.
The stands were packed at Burt Flickinger Athletic Center for a strong head to head match up.
In the first half, both teams began by pushing the ball up the floor. ECC applied defensive pressure with a full court 1-2-2 press and the Bobcats applied some token man to man full-court pressure. A couple of three-point shots from Nicc Johnson fell for the Bobcats. Then, ECC's Tavien Kemp took the ball coast to coast and finished strong at the hoop.
We had ourselves a game.
The lead went back and forth early on. ECC made a run and then Bryant & Stratton - Buffalo would counter. But, when ECC went up 19-17 with 10 minutes left in the first half, they never looked back.
Slowly the press began to wear down the Bobcats. Turnovers and bad shot selection began to take its toll. A steal by Kasey Walker-Gregg led to an easy lay up on the other end. An errant outlet pass by the Bobcats became an open three pointer for Ahamadou Fofana.
Even when Bryant & Stratton - Buffalo managed to get the ball up court, and had the numbers, often they forced shots and were impatient. In the first half, they shot 20% from the three-point line and made numerous turnovers that led to easy opportunities for ECC. And, ECC capitalized, doing the opposite, going 9-17 and shooting a blistering 52.9% from the three-point line in the first half.
ECC went into halftime with the lead, 58-42.
During the break, the Bobcats went to the locker room and didn't return until 4 minutes left to warm up for the second half. But, once they hit the hardwood, they were poised to give the ECC Kats one last blow. Jordan Street and Jeru Molson hit the boards and turned some offensive rebounds into easy layups. Nicc Johnson knocked down a couple of three pointers. Tyrell Mitchell hit a beautiful tear-drop hanging floater in the lane.
The Bobcats cut the lead to 10 points in the first five minutes of the second half. Unphased, ECC continued to play their game. On offense, they moved the ball, passing and screening and cutting. Ahamadou Fofana sliced to the basketball and finished for two of his 14 second half points. Walker-Greg continued the theme at the other guard spot, knocking down a couple of long distance three pointers and finishing with 10 second half points of his own.
Halfway through the second half, and with 10 minutes left on the clock, it looked like that early Bobcat run never happened. For Bryant & Stratton - Buffalo, Mitchell got in foul trouble and eventually fouled out. He finished the game with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Street picked up a technical foul for slamming the ball on the court. He finished with a double-double, 14 points and 11 rebounds. An active, but relatively quiet Nicc Johnson finished with 23 points.
Those are really the only positives for the Bobcats. ECC shot 48.7% from the field and 50% from three point land. Ahamadou Fofana put up 22 points, Kyle Harris 20 points, and Kasey Walker-Gregg 18 points to hand inter-city rival, Bryant & Stratton College - Buffalo their second loss of the season. ECC doesn't play again until the 4th of December where they take on Pitt-Titusville. The B&SC Bobcats - Buffalo return to action this Sunday versus the B&SC Bobcats - Greece.