No. 22 James Madison glides by Buffalo
T.J. Bickerstaff thrived down low and finished with 18 points and seven rebounds as No. 22 James Madison withstood a challenge from Buffalo for an 81-66 victory on Wednesday night in Harrisonburg, Va.
Terrence Edwards Jr. scored 15 points and Michael Green III delivered 14 points and five assists as the Dukes (7-0) held the lead wire-to-wire but had difficulty pulling away.
Noah Freidel added 13 points for James Madison, which shook off the rust from a six-day layoff after winning two games last week at the Cancun Challenge in Mexico.
The Dukes ruled the boards, 37-29, and committed only eight turnovers to 18 for the Bulls. James Madison made 48.4 percent of its shots and hit 10 of 26 (38.5 percent) attempts from beyond the arc.
Sy Chatman hit a trio of 3-pointers on his way to scoring 19 points to pace Buffalo (1-6).
Ryan Sabol also hit three 3-pointers and tallied 15 points for the Bulls, who made 45.3 percent of their shots overall and 9 of 26 (34.6 percent) from 3-point range. Kanye Jones and Shawn Fulcher added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
James Madison got off to a sizzling start, scoring the game's first 13 points over the first 3:22. Freidel capped the spree with 3-pointers 36 seconds apart.
But the Dukes suddenly went cold, missing their next nine shots. The Bulls responded with a 14-2 run fueled by 3-pointers from three different players. Chatman's trey capped the outburst and pulled the visitors within 15-14 with 10:40 left in the first half.
Green made 3-pointers on consecutive possessions as the Dukes went on an 8-0 run later in the half. Then, James Madison closed the period with six straight points to grab a 37-24 lead at the break.
In the second half, the Dukes kept their lead above 10 most of the way, but they often struggled to blow the game open.
James Madison made nine straight field goals during one span of the second half. Two of the buckets came consecutively from Green, including a trey that pushed the Dukes' advantage to 68-48 with 7:44 left.
Bickerstaff maxed out the Dukes' lead at 78-55 with a slam dunk with 4:02 remaining.
--Field Level Media
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