Chippewas' Season Ends with 64-50 Loss at Buffalo
Courtesy: Mike Boseak/CMU Athletics
Senior Will McClure scored eight points and pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds in his final game on Tuesday night in the Chippewas' 64-50 loss at Buffalo in the first round of the FirstEnergy MAC Tournament.
Box Score

AMHERST, N.Y. — Central Michigan's season came to an end on Tuesday night, falling to Buffalo, 64-50, at Alumni Arena.

The Chippewas (10-21) pulled the game within three at the 15:12 mark of the second half on a Trey Zeigler layup, but the Bulls (18-12) went on an 11-2 run that included threes by Byron Mulkey, Dave Barnett and Zach Filzen to extend the lead back to 12, 50-38, with 7:53 to go.

The Maroon and Gold made one final push following UB's run as John Morris knocked down a three on an assist from Derek Jackson then a layup by William McClure pulled CMU within seven, 52-45, with 6:11 remaining.

The two teams traded baskets before the Bulls went on a 6-0 run to put the game away on layups by Jawaan Alston and Mulkey and two free throws by Tony Watson with 1:20 left.

"Buffalo was methodically physical and tough tonight," head coach Ernie Zeigler said. "They had great leadership from Byron Mulkey, who in my opinion is the toughest and best point guard in the conference."

The Chippewas struggled to start the first half, falling behind, 12-4, as Filzen knocked down two threes in the game's first five minutes and CMU went the first 7:04 without a field goal. Andre Coimbra knocked down a jumper at the 12:56 mark and Finis Craddock scored back-to-back baskets on a three and a running floater, cutting the CMU deficit to four, 15-11.

After the Bulls extended the lead back to nine, 24-15, on a Filzen layup, Jalin Thomas scored seven straight points to cut the deficit back to four, 26-22. The two teams traded baskets over the final 2:39 of the first half and UB led 30-26.

"We had our seniors really try to bring a sense of leadership with their effort and William McClure was great for us tonight," Zeigler said. "He was an absolute warrior and there was a sense of purpose. In a tournament format, the question is whether you can be the best team that night."

The loss ends the careers of three Chippewas in Thomas, McClure and Antonio Weary . McClure finished the game with a game-high 12 rebounds, including six on the offensive end and eight points for the Chippewas while Thomas scored seven points.

Jackson and Zeigler were the only two players in double figures for the Chippewas as the freshmen scored 11 and 10 respectively.

Filzen scored a game-high 21 points for the Bulls, knocking down 5-of-10 three-point field goal attempts, while Mulkey added 11 points and four assists, with zero turnovers.