BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The February freeze didn’t cast a cold spell on the UB Bulls and St. Bonaventure hoopers’ hot streaks.
UB’s victory string in the month before March Madness is now the longest in NCAA Division I men’s basketball after the Bulls won their 13th consecutive February game, 85-76 on Saturday at Western Michigan. Halting a two-game slide to end January, UB (11-12, 5-5) remained sixth in the Mid-American Conference.
St. Bonaventure has one of the five longest February win streaks in the country, at nine games now after Saturday’s 68-59 home win against Dayton, an opponent the Bonnies had not beaten in seven straight meetings since 2016. Bona (13-11, 7-4) has risen into the top four in the Atlantic 10 with three victories in a row, which included its first road wins of the season, at conference-leading VCU and Richmond.
Over the past eight seasons, Bona has a 44-18 February record, while UB is 42-13 in the month, 20-4 under fourth-year coach Jim Whitesell. UB entered its game at Western Michigan with the third-longest February win streak in the country, taking over the lead when Colgate and Winthrop lost later on Saturday, and Bona was seventh when the day started.
UB point guard Curtis Jones scored 30 points for the second time this season and senior forward LaQuill Hardnett had a career-high 27 points and 15 rebounds in Saturday’s win. Isaac Jack had a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Armoni Foster added 12 points and six rebounds. Kidtrell Blocker, a redshirt freshman from Rochester, entered the starting lineup for the first time.
In front of crowd of 4,850 at the Reilly Center, the Bonnies improved to 10-2 at home, and 31-5 over the past two seasons, the best home record among A-10 teams. Chad Venning led Bona with 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. Kyrell Luc and Moses Flowers each scored 13.
The February slate continues with home games for both teams. UB plays its next two at Alumni Arena, against Eastern Michigan on Tuesday and MAC-leading Kent State on national television Friday. Bona hosts LaSalle on Wednesday.
Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.