Bona trip could be chal­lenge for No. 17 Bulls

UB has never won at Reilly Cen­ter

The Buffalo News - - SPORTS - NEWS STAFF RE­PORT

Tipoff: 4 p.m., Reilly Cen­ter. TV: ESPN+ Ra­dio: ESPN 1520; WPIG 95.7 FM (Olean).

Records: St. Bon­aven­ture 4-5; UB 8-0.

Last time out: On Wed­nes­day, se­nior Nel­son Ka­puto recorded a ca­reer­high 21 points and Court­ney Stockard added 17 points and nine boards in his first start since re­turn­ing from knee surgery as St. Bon­aven­ture cruised past Siena, 82-40, to win the an­nual Fran­cis­can Cup.

Also Wed­nes­day, C.J. Mass­in­burg recorded the sec­ond triple-dou­ble in UB his­tory, net­ting 13 points, 13 re­bounds and 10 as­sists in an 89-55 vic­tory over vis­it­ing Le Moyne. Se­nior Don­tay Caruthers led the Bulls with 20 points off the bench.

His­tory: The Bulls and Bon­nies will be meet­ing for the 13th time and for the ninth sea­son in a row. St. Bon­aven­ture holds a 10-2 se­ries record. St. Bon­aven­ture is also un­de­feated against the Bulls at the Reilly Cen­ter, a per­fect 6-0. The last time UB de­feated St. Bon­aven­ture on the road was dur­ing the 1915-16 sea­son.

The streak(s) go on: Buf­falo will look to keep its his­toric eight-game win streak alive. This is the Bulls’ long­est win­ning streak since the 1930-31 un­de­feated sea­son, when they were 15-0. They’re just one of 10 un­de­feated teams left in the coun­try (Gon­zaga, Kansas, Vir­ginia, Michi­gan, Ne­vada, Texas Tech, Ari­zona State and Fur­man). At the same time, St. Bon­aven­ture is rid­ing a three-game win­ning streak of its own, and has won the past four matchups with UB.

St. Bon­aven­ture is 3-0 since the re­turn of Stockard from an off­sea­son knee pro­ce­dure that kept him from play­ing at the start of the sea­son. The se­nior has quickly picked up where he left off last sea­son, av­er­ag­ing 17.3 points per game in games against Cani­sius, Delaware State and Siena.

Mak­ing records: Mass­in­burg is 34 points from mov­ing to fifth on Buf­falo’s all-time points list. The guard cur­rently has 1,480 points to his name; just above him is Yassin Id­bihi (2003-2007) with 1,514. Mass­in­burg recorded 43 points ear­lier this sea­son against West Vir­ginia. Fel­low se­nior Nick Perkins is not far be­hind; the MVP of the Belfast Clas­sic tour­na­ment is now 10th on the all-time points list with 1,360. He needs 28 points to move into ninth place past Louis Camp­bell (1999-2002).

In­jury bug: De­spite Stockard’s re­turn, St. Bon­aven­ture is still bat­tling a plethora of in­juries. Start­ing for­wards LaDar­rien Grif­fin and Melkisedek More­aux, as well as guard Do­minick Welch all have been in­ac­tive this sea­son. Welch is West­ern New York’s all-time lead­ing bas­ket­ball scorer, he racked up 2,376 points with Cheek­towaga High.

De­fen­sive test: St. Bon­aven­ture’s de­fense won its last bout with UB, hold­ing the Bulls to just five points over the fi­nal four min­utes of play for a 73-62 win (Buf­falo’s last home loss). This sea­son, the Bulls have been held be­low 76 points only once in a 62-53 vic­tory over South­ern Illi­nois and are av­er­ag­ing 87 points per game. UB is now 52-8 un­der Coach Nate Oats when they score more than 80 points per game. St. Bon­aven­ture fresh­man Osun Osun­niyi cur­rently leads the At­lantic 10 con­fer­ence in blocks, av­er­ag­ing 2.7 per game.

James P. McCoy/Buf­falo News

C.J. Mass­in­burg is com­ing off a triple-dou­ble against Le Moyne Wed­nes­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.