OLEAN, N.Y. (AP) — Jayvon Graves hit a career-best five 3-pointers and scored 19 points, and No. 17 Buffalo remained undefeated with an 80-62 win over St. Bonaventure on Saturday.
CJ Massinburg scored 14 points and added nine rebounds, and Buffalo (9-0) continues to enjoy its best start to a season since going 15-0 in 1930-31. The Mid-American Conference Bulls began the day one of the nation’s 10 undefeated teams, and continued a run that began last season.
Buffalo improved to 16-1 in its past 17, with the only loss coming to Kentucky in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulls were too fast, too big, and unfazed by a rowdy, sold-out and profanity-chanting crowd at what can be an intimidating venue.
The Bonnies lost for only the third time in 20 games at Reilly Center dating to the start of last season. The previous three ranked teams to play at St. Bonaventure had lost.
The game was essentially over after an overwhelming first-half burst by Buffalo.
After Stockard scored on a pull-up 10-foot jumper to cut Buffalo’s lead to 16-12 with 11:09 left, the Bulls reeled off a 21-2 run capped by Ronaldo Segu scoring on a transition basket with 6:32 remaining.
The Bonnies utterly collapsed by committing four turnovers during that stretch, while the Bulls responded by hitting four 3-point baskets in transition, including two by Jeremy Harris.
Buffalo led 47-25 at the half, and then scored the first three baskets of the second half — including two transition dunks by Graves — to build a 53-25 edge.
The Bonnies clamped down on defense to make the game respectable in the second half. They eventually cut Buffalo’s lead to 61-49 with 7:59 left, when Jalen Poyser hit two free throws. Buffalo responded by scoring on its next three possessions, including Montell McRae and Jeenathon Williams hitting 3-point baskets.
Buffalo: The Bulls responded from playing a poor first half in an 89-55 win over Division II win over Le Moyne on Wednesday but took their foot off the gas in the second half Saturday. They will need a more complete performance in preparing to play four of their next five on the road, including back-to-back games at Syracuse on Dec. 17 and Marquette three days later.
St. Bonaventure: A young team can only gain from the experience in how it responded in the second half against a faster, bigger and more experienced team three weeks before opening its Atlantic 10 Conference schedule.
Buffalo: Returns home to complete the season two-game series against Southern Illinois on Dec. 15.
St. Bonaventure: Plays its next four on road, starting with Vermont on Dec. 18.