St. Bonaventure saw two winning streaks end at the hands of 17th-ranked, undefeated Buffalo on Saturday afternoon at the Reilly Center.
The Bonnies entered the day on a three-game win streak. They also had won their last five games against ranked opponents dating to 2014. Saturday, Buffalo made a big first half lead stand against a second half comeback effort and topped St. Bonaventure 80-62.
Foul troubles cost the Bonnies in the first half, as they were whistled for seven fouls in the game’s first five minutes. Buffalo, which came into the game averaging 87 points per game, pulled away from the Bonnies with 19-2 run midway through the opening period. That surge took what had been a 16-12 lead and pushed it to 37-14 by the 6:33 mark.
The Bulls led 47-25 at halftime as the Bonnies struggled to find openings, ending the half 11-28 (39 percent) from the field. UB went 15-30 from the field in the first 20 minutes, including 7-15 from three-point range, and 10-15 at the free throw line. The Bonnies attempted just two first half free throws.
While UB opened its largest lead at 28 points early in the second half, the Bonnies battled back. Led by senior Courtney Stockard, St. Bonaventure went on a 13-0 run to cut its deficit to 56-42 on Stockard’s free throws with 11:21 remaining. Stockard had six points in the run.
The veteran Buffalo team answered, though, netting five straight after that. St. Bonaventure then got a three-pointer by Stockard, a layup from Kyle Lofton and two free throws from Jalen Poyser to climb within 12 at 61-49 at the 7:59 mark.
UB again responded, this time with back-to-back three-pointers. A Montrel McRae layup put the Bulls ahead by 20 with 5:38 to play and effectively dashed the comeback attempt.
Stockard led the Bonnies with 18 points and six rebounds while playing 38 minutes, his season high in just his fourth game back from offseason surgery. Lofton finished with 15 points and six assists, continuing the impressive season thus far for the freshman point guard. Poyser scored 10 points and Nelson Kaputo finished with eight.
St. Bonaventure will be idle next week for final exams. The Bonnies return to game action on Dec. 18 at Vermont.