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Buffalo (2-6) at St. Bonaventure (3-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 1, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reilly Center (5,480) -- Olean, New York. Television: None. Home Record: Buffalo 1-2, SBU 1-0. Away Record: Buffalo 1-2, SBU 1-2. Neutral Record: Buffalo 0-2, SBU 1-0. Conference Record: Buffalo 0-0, SBU 0-0. Series Record: St. Bonaventure leads, 5-2.
GAME NOTES: The Buffalo Bulls will try their luck against an Atlantic 10 foe for a second time in a row as they storm into the Reilly Center for a non- conference bout with the St. Bonaventure Bonnies.
Buffalo is coming off of a 54-39 loss to Temple, which dropped its record to 2-6 for the season. The loss was the fourth in five games for the Bulls, with their only win during that span coming over the Division II's Mansfield Mountaineers. Coach Reggie Witherspoon's team has already dropped decisions to a pair of Ivy League schools in Princeton (57-53) and Yale (63-59) due to its lack of firepower on the offensive end. Buffalo is scoring only 59.1 ppg on 40.5 percent shooting from the field. Its opposition has been limited to 64.2 ppg.
The Bonnies put up a valiant effort versus a very tough Ohio University squad on Wednesday, but they ended up dropping a 69-64 decision to the Bobcats in Athens. The setback dropped St. Bonaventure's record to 3-2 for the season as it also lost a three-point affair to Canisius on the road. However, the Bonnies are a perfect 2-0 at home with wins over Bethune-Cookman (65-55) and Niagara (80-75). Now in his sixth season at the helm of the program, Mark Schmidt hopes to lead the team to back-to-back NCAA Tournament trips. His squad is outscoring its opponents by 2.2 ppg in the early going.
This will be the eighth meeting between these schools on the hardwood. St. Bonaventure owns a 5-2 series lead after winning the last four encounters, including a 66-60 decision last season in Buffalo.
The Bulls' inability to find the basket this season was clearly evident versus the Owls on Wednesday. Buffalo turned the ball over 17 times and converted only 32.7 percent of its field goals, including just 3-of-16 from three-point range. The program had not been held 40 points since the 2002-03 season when the it lost to Miami, 63-35. Javon McCrea scored a game-high 14 points in the loss. The junior forward is pacing the team with 16.6 ppg this season, but Will Regan is a distant second with 9.1 ppg. Jarod Oldham is a multi-tasking point guard with averages of 8.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.5 steals per outing, but his active play has yet to produce desired end results.
St. Bonaventure came out firing versus Ohio, as it knocked down 50 percent of its 3-point attempts in the opening half of the contest. Although the Bonnies lost by only five points, they could have won if they avoided their 20 turnovers and poor 14-of-25 shooting display at the charity stripe. Eric Mosley came off the bench to tally a game-high 19 points, shooting 6-of-8 from 3-point range. Chris Johnson contributed 17 points, while Charlon Kloof and Demitrius Conger both added 10. Johnson is leading the team with 16.6 ppg and Conger is the top glass cleaner with seven rebounds per outing.
Buffalo has some talent, but it is not pulling it all together. The team is lacking a consistent go-to-guy on the offensive end. One of the Bulls needs to step up for their fortunes to change. The Bonnies are playing very well right now and should be able to hold off any spirited effort Buffalo generates.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: St. Bonaventure 65, Buffalo 56
12/01 10:31:42 ET