AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) — Jeremy Harris scored 17 points and No. 19 Buffalo shook off a cold-shooting start to cruise past Miami (Ohio) 88-64 on Saturday.
Nick Perkins scored 12 points before hobbling off with an injury to his lower left leg midway through the second half. Dontay Caruthers scored six straight points — including two baskets off turnovers — in capping a decisive 19-2 run by hitting two free throws to put Buffalo ahead 63-42 with 8:34 left. Caruthers finished with 11 points.
The Bulls (15-1, 3-0 Mid-American Conference) extended their school-best home winning streak to 19, dating to a 73-62 loss to St. Bonaventure on Dec. 2, 2017. Buffalo has won 15 of its first 16 games for the second time in school history after going 15-1 in a 16-game season in 1929-30.
Nike Sibande scored 18 points and Darrian Ringo had 10 with seven rebounds and six assists for the RedHawks (8-8, 0-3).
The RedHawks were the last MAC team to defeat Buffalo by pulling out an 84-81 win at Oxford, Ohio, on Feb. 20.
Miami kept the game close by hitting 50 percent of its shots through the first 26 minutes, which slowed the pace of the game and prevented Buffalo from turning to its potent transition attack.
The wheels fell off the RedHawks after Mekhi Lairy scored on layup to cut Buffalo's lead to 44-40 with 14:29 remaining.
The Bulls responded with Perkins taking control down low at the offensive end. He scored seven of Buffalo's next 10 points over a 2 1/2-minute span before leaving the game with 10:30 left. Perkins had just scored a contested layup at the left post when he had his leg kicked out from behind him by Sibande.
Perkins had difficulty putting much weight on his left foot as he was helped off the court. He returned to the bench with about eight minutes left but did not re-enter the game.
Buffalo started cold in trailing 11-3 before erupting on a 21-4 run to build a 25-15 lead with 11:24, when Jeenathan Williams completed a three-point play. Buffalo then went cold again in hitting just one field goal the rest of the half.
The Bulls finished the first half hitting 9 of 28 field-goal attempts and missing 9 of 24 free-throw attempts, including Harris missing 2 of 3 after being fouled while attempting a 3-point attempt with 2 seconds left.
Buffalo missed its first three field-goal attempts to start the second half before Harris hit an open 3-pointer to put the Bulls up 39-32.
Four days after scoring a career-best 34 points in a 110-80 win over Toledo, Harris was in for a family reunion. His mother, Nancy, traveled from North Carolina for the game Saturday and spent the pre-game warmup hiding in coach Nate Oats' office so she could surprise her son following the game.
Miami: A young rebuilding team that starts three sophomores showed resolve in playing Buffalo tough into the second half. Junior forward Bam Bowman particularly caused Buffalo's problems from scoring in the pain.
Buffalo: The Bulls deserve credit for leaning on their defense to keep them in a game until their offense finally found its legs. Buffalo has now outscored its first three MAC opponents by a combined 272-202, putting the Bulls in a position to inch up in the rankings.
Miami: At Toledo on Tuesday night.
Buffalo: At Western Michigan on Tuesday night.
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