AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) — CJ Massinburg ended a four-game slump by scoring 31 points, leading No. 16 Buffalo to a 77-65 win over Eastern Michigan on Friday night.
Nick Perkins scored 21, and the Bulls (17-1, 5-0 Mid-American Conference) extended what’s become their best start in school history. Buffalo has also won 20 straight home games, which ranks as the third-longest streak in the nation.
Perkins and Massinburg formed an inside and outside scoring threat by combining to score 32 of Buffalo’s 41 points in the first half in a game Buffalo never trailed. Massinburg hit 4 of 7 3-point attempts for 17 points in the first 20 minutes.
Massinburg is Buffalo’s leading scorer, but had combined to score just 52 points in his past four outings.
Paul Jackson led Eastern Michigan with 12 points, but finished hitting just 5 of 17 attempts. James Thompson scored 11 points and added 12 rebounds for the Eagles (8-10, 2-3) lost their fifth straight game to Buffalo, including an 81-69 loss at Ypsilanti two weeks ago.
Eastern Michigan also lost its eighth straight at Buffalo, a drought dating to Feb. 4, 2004.
Down 54-41 six minutes into the second half, the Eagles cut Buffalo’s lead to 60-57 when Jackson hit one of two free-throw attempts with 7:41 remaining. Buffalo responded by going on a 15-0 run over the next three minutes. Dontay Caruthers capped the run by completing a three-point play off a transition basket, set up by a pass from Massinburg.
Only six of 16 Eagles players were alive the last time Eastern Michigan defeated a ranked opponent. It happened on Dec. 17, 1997, when the Eagles traveled to beat No. 21 Michigan 89-83.
Eastern Michigan: Refused to crumble when falling behind by 13 midway through the second half. The Eagles also stayed in the game by forcing 16 turnovers.
Buffalo: It hasn’t yet cost them, but stretches of inconsistency at both ends of the floor continue to be an issue for the Bulls ever since a 110-80 blowout of Toledo on Jan. 8.
Eastern Michigan: Hosts Bowling Green on Tuesday.
Buffalo: Plays its next two on the road, starting at Northern Illinois on Tuesday.
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