New Jersey Native Son Returns To NCAA
CLEVELAND– The University of Buffalo made the correct choice when hiring Bobby Hurley, Jr. two years ago. The New Jersey native son recently led his charges, (a.k.a)- The University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, men’s basketball team to a 89-84 win over Central Michigan in the Mid-American Conference Championship Game.
In Photo: Buffalo coach, Bobby Hurley, receives the 2015 Mid-American Conference Men's Basketball Championship trophy from Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher at the Q-Arena in Cleveland. Photo courtesy of the Rolco Sports Network
Hurley was a 2006 inductee into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.
Will the University of Buffalo be able to keep the former Duke player at the helm of the Bulls’ program? That will be discussed another day. Now it is time for a Buffalo celebration.
Bulls sophomore guard Shannon Evans had a strong second-half performance, scoring 13 of his 18 points to help earn U. of B. their first MAC tournament championship and automatic NCAA tourney bid. Junior Justin Moss (Romulus, Michigan), the MAC Player of the Year, had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. But it was the inside play of senior forward Xavier Ford, who matched Evans with 18 points, while making three 3-pointers that led the Bulls. Ford was the tournament MVP.
This was the third time that Buffalo faced the Chippewas this year. CMU won both regular-season meetings between the teams. Chris Fowler scored 27 points for Chippewas, 23-8. This was the first CMU title appearance since center Chris Kaman led them in 2003. They went on to play in the N.I.T.
Post-game, while speaking about his squad, Hurley said, “I’m really proud of my team. I’m proud of the accomplishment that this group achieved. This team has so much heart and really came together when we suffered a tough loss at six and six in the conference (following Valentine Day’s 75-74 loss to CMU), to respond the way we have and to win eight straight games.”
In the NCAA Tournament, as Mid-American Conference Champions, the Bulls headed to Columbus, OH as the #12 seed in the Midwest bracket and faced #5 West Virginia. The game took place on Friday, March 20th .
As a player, while at Duke, Hurley helped fulfill the high hopes that Coach Mike Krzyzewski had for him. Hurley led the Blue Devils to back-to-back NCAA championships in 1991 and 1992 and was named Final Four MVP in 1992. Hurley has previously been an assistant coach for Wagner and an associate head coach for Rhode Island on the staffs of his younger brother Dan.
In photo: Buffalo's Lamonte Bearden (1) drives to the basket against Central Michigan's Josh Kozinski (12) during the first half of the MAC Championship. Beardon had six assists. Photo courtesy of MAC-Sports & Media.