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1917-1918 Buffalo Basketball

by Scott Hollander
University at Buffalo Libraries

Despite wartime conditions and the loss of several players to the military, Buffalo coach Art Powell led the 1917-1918 U.B. basketball team to a respectable record against quality opponents. Yale, Colgate and the University of Rochester were among the teams beaten. The starting five were Don Cohen and Robert Ungerer, forwards; Allison Roberts, center; Louis Siegel and Eugene Leicht, guards.

The biggest game of the year was also the last one of the season. West Virginia University came to town and was soundly beaten by the smaller and quicker U.B. squad. (see “Varsity Victor Over Virginians in Closing Game” Buffalo Courier, 22 February 1918)

Students Demand Coach’s Return for Another Year

Powell’s contract with the University of Buffalo athletic authorities expired at the end of the semester. There was concern that he would move on to other more lucrative opportunities but the undergraduate students and members of the alumni association worked vigorously for his return.

Art Powell did return the following year. In fact, he coached basketball at U.B. for 28 straight years (1915 – 1943) compiling a 198 – 190 record with a .510 winning percentage.

1917-1918 Buffalo Basketball Season

Date Home Team Score Visiting Team W-L-T Location
1/2/19181 Buffalo 21 – 13 Yale University W Buffalo, NY
1/11/19182 Buffalo 17 – 30 Syracuse University L Buffalo, NY
1/18/19183 Buffalo 43 – 5 Fort Niagara W Buffalo, NY
1/25/19184 Buffalo 31 – 16 Colgate University W Buffalo, NY
2/2/19185 Buffalo 27 – 18 University of Rochester W Buffalo, NY
2/9/19186 Buffalo 27 – 32 Allegheny College L Buffalo, NY
2/16/19187 University of Rochester 32 – 34 Buffalo W Rochester, NY
2/21/19188 Buffalo 41 – 23 West Virginia University W Buffalo, NY


Home Court: Elmwood Music Hall
Coach: Arthur Powell

1 – “U.B. Gives Yale Basketball Team Real ShockBuffalo Courier, Buffalo, NY, 3 January 1918.

2 – “Orange Much Too fast and Clever for Buffalo CollegiansRochester Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, NY, 12 January 1918.

3 – “Varsity Swamps Soldier QuintBuffalo Courier, Buffalo, NY, 19 January 1918.

4 – “U.B. Batters Colgate FiveBuffalo Courier, Buffalo, NY, 26 January 1918.

5 – “Varsity Whirls Rochester Five to Defeat, 27-18Buffalo Courier, Buffalo, NY, 3 February 1918.

6 – “Allegheny Charges to Victory Over VarsityBuffalo Courier, Buffalo, NY, 10 February 1918.

7 – “U. of B. Repeats Win Over RochesterBuffalo Courier, Buffalo, NY, 17 February 1918.

8 – “Varsity Victor Over Virginians in Closing GameBuffalo Courier, Buffalo, NY, 22 February 1918.

Varsity Victor Over Virginians in Closing Game

Record of Husky Southerners Dimmed by Siegel and Cohen.


Playing its last game of the season,
the University of Buffalo last night gave
the much heavier University of West
Virginia a 41 to 23 beating at Elmwood
Music hall.

When the southerners, led by the stocky
Rodgers of All-American football fame,
appeared on the floor the fans had a
glimpse of the huskiest bunch of basketball
tossers that the locals have opposed
this season. But from the first minute
of play, during which time Allie Roberts
slipped in two easy baskets, the locals
demonstrated the fact that brawn was
the only asset of the much heralded visitors.

Don Cohen and Louis Siegel were the
main obstacles in the path of the visitors
bid for victory. Both Cohen and Siegel
were all over the floor and time after
time cut in on the long passes on the
Virginians and shot the ball back toward
their own basket. Siegel’s reverse turns
at the end of long dribbles, had Rodgers
and Whetsell floundering around the floor
throughout the game.

Cohen’s accurate foul shooting, especially
in the first half, was a feature. He
caged nine out of twelve in the first half.
Cutright starred for the Virginians. The
score at half time favored Buffalo 27 to 9.