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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET12:00 PM GMT8:00 PM 北京时间5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST, Dec 29, 2018
Koessler Athletic Center, Buffalo, New York  Attendance: 2,196

No. 21 Buffalo to test response from first loss against Canisius

No. 21 Buffalo will face another rebounding challenge Friday.

This time, it comes after the Bulls' first loss.

Buffalo (11-1) will meet cross-town rival Canisius at sold-out Koessler Center in their first action since a 103-85 loss at Marquette last Friday, a defeat that ended their perfect season and cost them seven spots in the Top 25.

"We've had a great run here at the beginning of the season," Buffalo coach Nate Oaks told the Buffalo News after the game against Marquette.

"We didn't look like the 14th-ranked team in the country, but we played a tough team and (Marquette guard) Markus Howard went nuts. I didn't think he'd do that on us. I was wrong. He did."

Buffalo gave up 64 points in the second half to Marquette, when Howard had 40 of his 45 points. The Bulls also were outrebounded 48-34, a stat that displeased Oats.

"That speaks to our toughness, our effort," Oats told the News. "That's why we got to 14th in the country, because we were more blue collar. Out-toughed teams."

The Bulls' game at Marquette concluded an aggressive two-continent, nonconference stretch that included victorious stops at West Virginia and Syracuse and the championship of the Belfast Hall of Fame Classic in Northern Ireland.

The Bulls won their first 11 games for the first time since the 1930-31 team finished 15-0 while holding their own on the boards in that run. They had 13 more rebounds than Syracuse in a 71-59 victory on Dec. 18, after which Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was effusive in his praise.

"I thought they were tougher than us," Boeheim told the News. "They're faster, quicker. I think they're stronger."

Senior guard CJ Massinburg leads Buffalo with a 17.9 scoring average, and he had 43 points and 12 rebounds against Syracuse and Marquette.

Massinburg had five assists against Syracuse and four steals against Marquette and is one of 20 players on the Oscar Robertson player of the year midseason watch list.

Senior Jeremy Harris had 22 points and made 4-of-7 3-pointers against Marquette, snapping a 2-for-16 stretch from distance and numbers more in line with his history. Harris made 42 percent from 3-point range last season but is at 28.6 percent this year.

"Hopefully, this gets him going," Oats told the News.

Harris is averaging 13.3 points and 5.2 rebonds this season and senior sixth man Nick Perkins is at 12.9 and 8.4. Guard Dontay Caruthers has had two 20-point games in his last five while coming off the bench.

Canisius (3-7) has won three of the last five in the season series, although Buffalo won 80-75 in the 2017-18 season opener. Canisius claimed an 94-87 overtime victory the year before.

The Golden Griffins have won two of their last three games after a six-game losing streak, and they would have been three-for-three had they held a 10-point lead with five minutes remaining in a 65-63 loss at Holy Cross on Dec. 20.

Canisius prepared for the Mid-Atlantic Conference schedule with a rugged nonconfernce slate that included a loss to Florida State and losses to Villanova, Memphis and Alabama-Birmingham in the Thanksgiving Advocare Invitational in Orlando, Fla.

Takai Molson (16.5) and Isaiah Reese (11.1) are scoring in double figures for the Golden Griffins, and they are two of four players that have led the team in scoring this season. Malik Johnson had a season-high 20 against Florida State and Reese had a season-high 19 in a loss to Villanova.

Molson had 20 points in the Golden Griffin's last victory, 92-91 at Elon on Dec. 16, when Jibreel Faulkner had career highs with 16 points and eight rebounds. Canisius had 18 assists against nine turnovers in that game.

"I told the guys after the game, games are never easy, but they become easier if you play for your teammates," Canisius coach Reggie Witherspoon told reporters.

Updated December 28, 2018

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