December 04, 2015

Having excelled in their first significant home game, freshman Brandon Ingram and his Duke teammates will try to keep their intensity going against a lower-profile opponent.

The seventh-ranked Blue Devils will try to again add to their lengthy nonconference win streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday versus Buffalo.

Ingram scored 18 of his 24 points in the first half in a 94-74 rout of Indiana in Wednesday's Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The forward made 10 of 15 shots - 7 of 8 in the opening 20 minutes - after connecting at 38.8 percent in his first seven collegiate games.

"I was happy for Brandon that he came out and asserted himself at the beginning of the game. We've been looking for that Brandon Ingram to come out a little bit more," said junior Matt Jones, who had a career-high 23 points. "Indiana is a really good team and I think we can grow in confidence from this game and continue to move forward. It was definitely a good step for the team."

The 18-year-old Ingram had more than seven field-goal attempts for just the second time in the past six games. He went 4 of 6 from 3-point range after previously hitting 6 of 25.

Jones wasn't the only one pleased to see Ingram be more aggressive.

''He can have one of these games every game, I think,'' senior Amile Jefferson said. ''He can shoot the ball unbelievably. With his (6-foot-9) size, his length, he can almost get his shot off on anyone.

''... He shoots freely because who can block his shot? And if there's a guy out there who could block his shot, he's too slow to stay in front of him. So it's not a lot of guys like him out there.''

Jefferson finished two points and two assists shy of his first triple-double for the Blue Devils (7-1), winners of an NCAA-best 121 consecutive nonconference home games.

It certainly wouldn't seem that Buffalo's frontcourt would be a problem for Ingram considering it has only one starter taller than 6-5.

The Bulls are 4-3 under first-year coach Nate Oats and have lost their two road games by a combined 41 points. Former Duke star Bobby Hurley led Buffalo to its first MAC title and NCAA Tournament in 2014-15 before heading to Arizona State.

Oats' team had a three-game win streak snapped Wednesday with a 60-58 home loss to St. Bonaventure, which hit the go-ahead shot with 10 seconds to go.

Senior Rodell Wigginton had a team-best 16 points - after totaling eight in his previous two games - and 10 rebounds. Leading scorer Lamonte Bearden (13.6 ppg) had 12 points after scoring a combined 38 in the prior two contests.

Buffalo lost all three of its matchups with ranked teams last season but put up a good fight in all of them. The Braves led at halftime against No. 1 Kentucky and No. 6 Wisconsin, then fell 68-62 to No. 20 West Virginia in the NCAA tournament's second round.

Duke and Buffalo are meeting for the first time.

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