BOSTON (AP)—It was a good night for Craig Smith to have an off-game.
With the preseason All-America forward slowed by foul trouble and a cut over his eye, Jared Dudley scored 20 points on Tuesday to help No. 10 Boston College beat Buffalo 92-63.
“I couldn’t find any sort of rhythm, so it was difficult for me,” said Smith, who had 12 points and four rebounds. “It’s a good feeling when I’m down and guys can pick us up.”
Smith missed seven minutes in the first half due to foul trouble and six minutes in the second when a cut over his left eye required six stitches. The senior forward, who averaged 18 points and 11 rebounds in BC’s first two games, also sat out the last four minutes of the blowout and played only 23 minutes in all.
“We tried to attack him. We didn’t try to run away and hope he didn’t hurt us,” Buffalo coach Reggie Witherspoon said. “We did some good things early, attacking inside. But we didn’t do anything to sustain it.”
Sean Marshall scored 16 as Boston College improved to 3-0 in the non-conference part of its inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference season.
“Craig is a big player for us,” Dudley said. “When he goes out of the game, I’m looking to score and Sean’s looking to score. We know we can score.”
Yassin Idbihi scored 22 with 10 rebounds and Parnell Smith had 18 and eight for Buffalo (2-1), which dropped to 0-16 all-time against the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The game was the second round of the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational but it was played on BC’s Chestnut Hill campus. Both teams will travel to Nevada for the final rounds this weekend.
The Eagles were 6-for-10 from the experimental 3-point line being used in the tournament, a foot farther than the conventional one; BC went 0-for-11 from 3-point range in its first game with the temporary rule. Boston College freshman guards Tyrese Rice and Marquez Haynes scored 12 and eight points, respectively, and combined to make 7-of-8 shots and all three free throws.
“We love to play with him (Smith),” BC coach Al Skinner said. “But we’ve played without him, and we know where to go for offense when we need to.”
Smith scored six points during a 12-0 run that broke the game open midway through the first half, turning a 13-10 game into a 15-point lead. But BC showed it could dominate without him, too.
Smith went to the bench after picking up his second foul with 7:07 left in the first half. BC responded by going on a 13-0 run that made it 42-17 with 2:56 left in the half.
Smith left the floor just 1:20 into the second half with a cut above his eye. When he came back in with 13:04 to play, BC was leading 68-35.
He picked up his fourth foul with 8:46 to play, when BC led 72-44, and Skinner just left him in the game. Smith also sat out the last four minutes of the game.