BUFF
EMICH

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No. 20 Buffalo rolls in MAC opener, 74-58 over EMU

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) Nick Perkins has a good idea of how the rest of the Mid-American Conference feels about facing Buffalo this season.

''When you've got a national ranking, everybody wants to beat you,'' the 6-foot-8 senior said.

The 20th-ranked Bulls were ready for their first MAC test of 2018-19. Montell McRae scored a career-high 18 points and Perkins added 15 to lift Buffalo to an easy 74-58 win over Eastern Michigan on Friday night.

CJ Massinburg added 12 points for Buffalo. McRae scored 12 of his points in the first half, helping the Bulls (13-1, 1-0) through a sluggish start against the EMU zone defense.

Buffalo trailed 15-11 before going on a 19-4 run. It was 33-23 at halftime.

McRae's first-half scoring came on three dunks and a pair of 3-pointers. The 6-foot-10 senior finished 8 of 9 from the field and surpassed his previous career high of 13 points.

''Somebody needed to find a spark, and I guess it was me tonight,'' McRae said. ''I got us rolling.''

Elijah Minnie led EMU (6-8, 0-1) with 21 points.

''We were more excited playing Buffalo than when we played Duke, in my opinion,'' said EMU's James Thompson IV, who had 11 points and 12 rebounds. ''We've got the crowd, everybody was hype. We didn't look at Buffalo like they were No. 20. We looked at them like we play them every year.''

Massinburg had a quiet game offensively, but he did sink a couple late 3-pointers in the first half, including one in the final seconds that gave the Bulls a 10-point lead.

BIG PICTURE

Buffalo: EMU was the type of team that can give the Bulls trouble, especially on the offensive glass. The Eagles had 20 offensive rebounds, but they didn't lead to that many easy baskets. EMU finished with only an 18-16 edge in second-chance points.

''What it did is it didn't allow us to get into our transition like we wanted to,'' Buffalo coach Nate Oats said. ''We didn't have nearly as many fast-break points as we typically would, just because we couldn't rebound the ball. Even if they weren't scoring on it all the time, we've got to get rebounds and get out in transition.''

EMU: The Eagles defended well at times, but they couldn't overcome their 7-for-26 shooting from 3-point range. EMU came into the game shooting 26 percent from beyond the arc - one of the worst marks in Division I - and during one stretch, the Eagles missed 12 attempts in a row from long distance.

''You have to make sure when you get an opportunity, Division I players have to make open shots,'' EMU coach Rob Murphy said. ''We didn't make open shots. I thought that was the difference in the game.''

HOMECOMING

Perkins is an Ypsilanti native, and Oats spent 11 years as head coach at Romulus High School, about 16 miles away.

TEMPO

The pace of the game was to EMU's benefit early. It took over three minutes for anybody to score, and neither team had a single fast-break point in the first half.

The game got away from the Eagles early in the second, when Buffalo went on a 24-9 run to take a 57-32 lead.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Buffalo can expect to be ranked for a ninth straight week when the next AP poll comes out.

UP NEXT

Buffalo: The Bulls return home to face Toledo on Tuesday night.

EMU: The Eagles play at Ball State on Tuesday night.

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Key Players
C. Massinburg
5 G
P. Jackson
3 G
31.1 Min. Per Game 31.1
13.5 Pts. Per Game 13.5
3.8 Ast. Per Game 3.8
2.1 Reb. Per Game 2.1
47.5 Field Goal % 38.3
44.3 Three Point % 28.9
75.5 Free Throw % 71.1
+ 3 Malik Ellison made 3-pt. jump shot 10.0
+ 2 Tra'Von Fagan made dunk 15.0
  Offensive rebound by Brock Bertram 13.0
  Dontay Caruthers missed dunk 15.0
+ 2 Elijah Minnie made layup, assist by James Thompson IV 24.0
  Lost ball turnover on Brock Bertram, stolen by James Thompson IV 35.0
+ 1 James Thompson IV made 2nd of 2 free throws 45.0
+ 1 James Thompson IV made 1st of 2 free throws 45.0
  Personal foul on Brock Bertram 45.0
  Offensive rebound by James Thompson IV 46.0
  Boubacar Toure missed free throw 46.0
Team Stats
Points 74 58
Field Goals 27-54 (50.0%) 21-63 (33.3%)
3-Pointers 7-24 (29.2%) 7-26 (26.9%)
Free Throws 13-22 (59.1%) 9-19 (47.4%)
Total Rebounds 39 42
Offensive 11 18
Defensive 26 21
Team 2 3
Assists 15 8
Steals 5 7
Blocks 2 2
Turnovers 13 16
Fouls 20 18
Technicals 0 0
18 PTS, 7 REB
21 PTS, 7 REB
12T
away team logo 20 Buffalo 13-1 334174
home team logo E. Michigan 6-8 233558
Team Stats
away team logo 20 Buffalo 13-1 84.9 PPG 44.1 RPG 16.9 APG
home team logo E. Michigan 6-8 68.8 PPG 38.8 RPG 11.5 APG
Key Players
1
M. McRae F 5.8 PPG 3.5 RPG 0.5 APG 54.5 FG%
5
E. Minnie F 13.3 PPG 4.5 RPG 1.1 APG 41.3 FG%
Top Scorers
M. McRae F 18 PTS 7 REB 0 AST
E. Minnie F 21 PTS 7 REB 0 AST
50.0 FG% 33.3
29.2 3PT FG% 26.9
59.1 FT% 47.4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. McRae 18 7 0 8/9 2/3 0/0 4 23 0 0 0 3 4
C. Massinburg 12 1 4 4/10 2/6 2/5 2 31 2 0 0 1 0
J. Harris 9 12 3 4/10 0/5 1/2 2 33 1 1 4 1 11
J. Graves 8 1 2 3/7 2/5 0/0 3 20 0 0 1 0 1
D. Jordan 0 2 1 0/2 0/1 0/0 1 24 1 0 3 1 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. McRae 18 7 0 8/9 2/3 0/0 4 23 0 0 0 3 4
C. Massinburg 12 1 4 4/10 2/6 2/5 2 31 2 0 0 1 0
J. Harris 9 12 3 4/10 0/5 1/2 2 33 1 1 4 1 11
J. Graves 8 1 2 3/7 2/5 0/0 3 20 0 0 1 0 1
D. Jordan 0 2 1 0/2 0/1 0/0 1 24 1 0 3 1 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Perkins 15 6 2 4/8 0/1 7/10 2 29 0 1 2 1 5
T. Fagan 6 2 0 3/3 0/0 0/0 1 2 0 0 0 1 1
D. Caruthers 5 3 0 1/3 1/1 2/2 2 18 1 0 1 0 3
J. Williams 1 1 0 0/1 0/1 1/3 1 10 0 0 0 1 0
B. Bertram 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 2 2 0 0 1 1 0
R. Segu 0 1 3 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 8 0 0 1 1 0
A. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Grant - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Moultrie - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Bivens - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Davis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Moore - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 74 37 15 27/54 7/24 13/22 20 200 5 2 13 11 26
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Minnie 21 7 0 8/18 5/12 0/0 3 38 2 0 3 1 6
P. Jackson 13 3 4 4/12 0/2 5/8 2 33 0 0 2 2 1
J. Thompson IV 11 12 1 4/6 0/0 3/8 1 37 1 1 2 7 5
B. Toure 4 10 0 2/4 0/0 0/1 4 23 1 1 3 4 6
K. McAdoo 0 2 2 0/8 0/4 0/0 3 23 0 0 2 1 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Minnie 21 7 0 8/18 5/12 0/0 3 38 2 0 3 1 6
P. Jackson 13 3 4 4/12 0/2 5/8 2 33 0 0 2 2 1
J. Thompson IV 11 12 1 4/6 0/0 3/8 1 37 1 1 2 7 5
B. Toure 4 10 0 2/4 0/0 0/1 4 23 1 1 3 4 6
K. McAdoo 0 2 2 0/8 0/4 0/0 3 23 0 0 2 1 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Ellison 6 0 1 2/5 2/3 0/0 1 14 0 0 1 0 0
T. Groce 2 3 0 1/5 0/2 0/0 1 14 2 0 3 2 1
T. Silver 1 0 0 0/4 0/2 1/2 1 9 0 0 0 0 0
D. Parris 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 1 3 0 0 0 0 0
J. King 0 2 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 6 1 0 0 1 1
I. Green - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Jones - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Peterson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Ballard Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Stephens - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Rafus Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 58 39 8 21/63 7/26 9/19 18 200 7 2 16 18 21