By John Wawrow, AP Sports Writer
AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) — Jeremy Harris scored a career-best 34 points in leading No. 19 Buffalo to a 110-80 rout of Toledo on Tuesday night.
Harris scored 20 points in the first half alone and finished hitting a career-best six 3-point baskets for the Bulls (14-1, 2-0 Mid-American Conference). Buffalo celebrated its first home game in 3 1/2 weeks by putting up 110 points for the second time this season. The Bulls last scored that many in a 110-71 win over Dartmouth on Nov. 21.
Nick Perkins scored 21 and Jayvon Graves had 13 points and 12 rebounds for Buffalo, which won its 18th consecutive home game in a streak dating to a 103-85 loss to St. Bonaventure on Dec. 2, 2017.
Marreon Jackson scored 20 and Chris Darrington added 21 for Toledo (12-3, 0-2). The Rockets’ leading scorer Jaelan Sanford hit just 1 of 10 for 3 points.
The game hardly lived up to the anticipation in being a rematch of last year’s MAC championship, which Buffalo won 76-66 to clinch its third conference title in four years.
The Rockets hit just nine of their first 23 attempts, including going 2 of 8 from 3-point range through the first 16 minutes.
Toledo was coming off a MAC-opening 79-64 loss to Ball State on Friday, and has now lost two straight for the first time since Feb. 17-20 of last season. The Blades have also not had a lead in each of their past two games.
The game was essentially over in the first half when Buffalo opened the game scoring 18 of the first 22 points capped by Perkins’ dunk on the transition 5:07 in.
Harris went 7 of 12 from the field, including hitting five of eight 3-point attempts in the first half alone. And his transition layup after Luke Knapke missed the first half of a one-and-one free-throw attempt allowed Buffalo to build its biggest lead — a 44-24 edge with 2:22 left in the first half.
After trailing by as many as 20 in the first half, the Rockets mustered a brief comeback bid by cutting Buffalo’s lead to 64-51 on Nate Navigato’s eight-foot jumper from the paint with 14:32 left.
The Bulls responded by going on a 13-0 run over a 3:11 span and capped by Davonta Jordan scoring on a transition layup.
Buffalo then broke the game open by building a 93-63 lead with 7:37 left, when Graves punctuated a transition break with a dunk that got the crowd on its feet.
THE BIG PICTURE
Toledo: A relatively weak non-conference schedule might have boosted the Rockets record, but hasn’t helped them get ready for MAC play.
Buffalo: Have won three straight and outscored their competition by a combined 271-210 since a 103-85 loss at Marquette on Dec. 21.
Toledo: At Western Michigan on Saturday.
Buffalo: Host Miami (Ohio) on Saturday.
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