Buffalo opened the game on an 11-2 run, with six of those points coming from junior Justin Moss. A three-pointer from freshman Lamonte Bearden put UB up 16-6 with 13:35 left, and it was just the beginning for the freshman, who scored a career-best 23 points in the contest.
The Griffs opened the second half on a 9-3 run to pull back within single digits at 37-28, but a fast-break dunk from Moss rebuilt a double digit lead that Buffalo held for the rest of the night. UB built up its biggest lead of the day with 10:27 left as a layup from Xavier Ford gave the Bulls a 54-34 lead.
Canisius was able to pull no closer than 12, which it did with 2:00 minutes remaining, but Bearden scored the final four points for the Bulls before being replaced in the final 35 seconds by Christian Pino and Bobby Frasco, who made their season debuts.
"I thought it was great energy from us defensively in the first half, and that's the type of defense we have been talking about playing all season -- and have shown flashes of," said head coach Bobby Hurley. "It was exciting to see us play a great 20 minutes, but I am not sure we played nearly as well in the second half today as we did in the first, so we have to figure out a way to put 40 minutes of basketball together. But overall, it’s a great win, and we are excited about it."
Bearden, who scored eight points in each of the first four games this season, led all scorers with 23 points as he shot 9-of-13 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from behind the arc. He also had four assists, tying sophomore Shannon Evans for game-high honors. Moss finished with his second double-double of the season as he had 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Wigginton also finished in double figures as he had 12 points and a career-best seven rebounds off the bench. Ford had four points, six rebounds and a career-high four blocked shots, while junior Raheem Johnson added three more blocks, four points and four rebounds.
Canisius fell to 2-3 on the season as the Griffs were led by Zach Lewis, who had 14 points and six rebounds. Phil Valenti finished with 11 points.
The Bulls will remain on the road Wednesday night as they face their second straight Big 4 opponent in St. Bonaventure. The game will tip off at 7:00 pm
As a salute to the Buffalo Braves, all four Big 4 teams wore throwback uniforms as part of Saturday’s doubleheader. UB and Canisius wore uniforms made up of the Braves' final color scheme – Columbia blue and white with black trim. The Columbia blue and white color scheme was the franchise's look until the Braves moved to California.
(Courtesy of UB Athletics/MRO Edit)