ST. BONAVENTURE, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team led for nearly the entire afternoon on Saturday as UB coasted to an 80-62 win over St. Bonaventure. The win was the ninth in a row for the 17th ranked Buffalo Bulls as they improve to 9-0. This was also the first road win for UB over St. Bonaventure since the 1915-16 season and the first ever with both teams as varsity programs.
St. Bonaventure's only lead came at 3-0 in the contest, but that was quickly erased on a three pointer from sophomore Jayvon Graves, one of five on the afternoon for him, a new career high. With Buffalo leading 11-10, another three pointer from Graves ignited a 26-4 run, pushing the lead to 23 on a layup from freshman Ronaldo Segu with 6:33 left at 37-14. Senior Jeremy Harris nailed a pair of three-pointers during the run. Harris drained another three pointer with just 32 seconds left, giving the Bulls a 47-25 lead into the break.
The Bulls came out in the second half and extended their lead to 28 on a pair of thunderous dunks from Graves, putting Buffalo ahead 53-25 just over two minutes in. The Bonnies would not go down quietly though in front of their home crowd. St. Bonaventure pulled back within 12 with just under eight minutes left, but the Bulls had an answer as they scored eight straight points, including back-to-back three pointers from Montell McRae and Jeenathan Williams.
The Bonnies would pull within 13 one more time, but Buffalo went on another 7-0 run, which was capped off on a three-point play from Harris. The Bulls went on to win 80-62.
"To come in here and get a win for the first time ever with neither team as a club team says a lot about the direction of this program," said head coach Nate Oats. "I can't say enough about the performance of our guys. With everything that Jayvon has been through, with losing his grandpa on Wednesday, to come out and have a career night tonight, I can't say enough about his performance. Some of our other guys didn't play great, but different guys stepped up and even those that didn't play great, played hard, and that is what it takes to win on the road."
Graves led all players with a career high 19 points, going 7-of-9 from the floor and 5-of-6 from behind the arc. Harris finished with 18 points and four rebounds, while senior CJ Massinburg just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds.
McRae had nine points, all in the second half, while Williams finished the night with seven points. Junior Davonta Jordan dished out a game-high seven assists, while adding four points.
Buffalo now becomes the first Big 4 program to start a season 9-0 since St. Bonaventure and Niagara did so during the 1969-70 season. Today's win for head coach Nate Oats was his first against St. Bonaventure and he has now beaten every opponent he has faced multiple times at least once.
The Bulls will now take off a week for finals before hitting the court again next Saturday when UB hosts Southern Illinois. Tip off is at 2pm and it will mark the final home game for the Bulls in 2018.