Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - An early deficit against the top team in the Mid-American Conference proved too much to overcome as the Central Michigan men's basketball team fell to Buffalo, 88-82, before 1,979 on Tuesday at McGuirk Arena.
Cecil Williams scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead CMU. Shawn Roundtree Jr. added 20 points, and David DiLeo and Kevin McKay added 12 apiece.
Jeremy Harris scored 22 points and CJ Massinburg added 18 to lead Buffalo.
The Bulls improved to 18-6, 10-1 MAC. The Chippewas, who had won two straight, are 15-9, 4-7.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Buffalo seized a 12-point lead, 30-18, with eight minutes to play in the first half. The Bulls led 37-29 at halftime.
CMU never led and trailed by as many as 18, 72-54, with under seven minutes to play.
The Chippewas cut their deficit to four, 86-82, on a Josh Kozinski 3-pointer with 10 seconds left. Wes Clark made two free throws with 9 seconds remaining to seal it.
The Chippewas made just 23.5 percent (8 for 34) of their 3-point attempts. It was their second-worst 3-point performance by percentage this season.
CMU outrebounded the Bulls, 38-33.
The Chippewas, who entered the game leading the nation in free throw shooting, made 16 of their 17 attempts from the line (94.1 percent).
Overall, Buffalo shot 50 percent from the field; CMU finished at 43.9 percent.
THEY SAID IT
Roundtree: "I think it came down to us just missing shots throughout the game. WE shoot them with confidence. Today they just didn't fall."
Roundtree: "I think we showed flashes of our potential. Credit them. At the end of the day, they won. They really made us pay for every mistake we made on defense. ... I think we've shown that we're more than capable of playing with anyone in this conference. It comes down to each possession. Each possession matters. We have to capitalize more."
CMU coach Keno Davis: "I was really proud of our team's effort. When things didn't go our way, we kept battling back to try to give ourselves a chance."
Davis: "Not an off night from two-point range in that we go 21 for 32. We scored the ball well, we got to the free throw line in the second half well. Obviously not shooting well from the 3-point line, I think it's a combination. We had a poor 3-point shooting night, and I think there were some shots out there that we've got to get better shots from. How many of those shots should we have turned down? There's going to be some. We're still going to shoot some poor shots, every team does, but you want that number to reduce as the season goes on."
NEXT FOR CMU
The Chippewas go to Akron on Saturday (2 p.m.) for a MAC game. The Zips (10-13, 3-8) fell to Ohio, 99-75, on Tuesday.