EditorsNote: adds “visiting” in lede
CJ Massinburg erupted for 31 points, including a personal 10-0 run during a key stretch in the second half, and No. 16 Buffalo pulled away to a 77-65 victory over visiting Eastern Michigan on Friday.
Nick Perkins supplied 21 points off the bench for the Bulls (17-1, 5-0 Mid-American Conference), who are off to their best start in the program’s history. Jayvon Graves added 10 points.
Buffalo, which swept its season series against the Eagles, is the first MAC team to start a season 17-1 or better since Western Michigan won its first 19 games in 1975-76.
The Bulls have won 20 straight in their home building, Alumni Arena.
Paul Jackson had 12 points and six assists for Eastern Michigan (8-10, 2-3). James Thompson IV contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Boubacar Toure tossed in 11 points with nine rebounds.
Buffalo held a 41-29 halftime advantage.
The Eagles didn’t score during the first five minutes. Massinburg made a 3-pointer to give Buffalo its first double-digit advantage at 12-2. A 9-2 Eastern Michigan spurt pulled the Eagles within 19-18, a stretch that included three-point plays by Ty Groce and Toure.
Massinburg’s trey with nine minutes left in the half allowed the Bulls to retain the lead. Buffalo ended the half on a 12-4 run. Perkins scored six of those points and Massinburg made the team’s final basket of the half, another 3-pointer.
Eastern Michigan began the second half with a 12-4 run of its own to close the gap to 45-41. Kevin McAdoo made a pair of layups during that span.
A barrage of 3-pointers temporarily put Buffalo back in control. Harris hit one and then Graves drained two more to make it 54-41.
The Eagles then went on a 15-4 run, capped by a Thompson 3-pointer, to climb within 58-56.
Massinburg wouldn’t let them take the lead. He supplied 10 points and an assist as the Bulls reeled off 15 unanswered points. Dontay Caruthers capped it off with a layup and a free throw.
Buffalo captured a 74-58 victory in the first meeting on Jan. 8.
—Field Level Media