Bona trip could be challenge for No. 17 Bulls
UB has never won at Reilly Center
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.
C.J. Massinburg is coming off a triple-double against Le Moyne Wednesday.