Central Michigan (9-10) at Buffalo (7-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 30, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Arena (6,100) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel. Home Record: CMU 5-3, UB 4-4. Away Record: CMU 1-6, UB 3-6. Neutral Record: CMU 3-1, UB 0-3. Conference Record: CMU 2-4, UB 2-4. Series Record: Central Michigan leads, 11-10.
GAME NOTES: The Buffalo Bulls will attempt to bounce back on Wednesday when they return to Alumni Arena to host the Central Michigan Chippewas in a Mid- American Conference tilt.
CMU leads the all-time series 11-10 against Buffalo, dating back to 1975. The Bulls are 6-4 in the last 10 matchups against the Chippewas, including winning the last three meetings. Central Michigan's last victory at Buffalo came in the 2007-08 season, 59-56.
Keno Davis and his Chippewas are riding a two-game losing slide into this one after dropping home bouts to Northern Illinois (74-61) and Western Michigan (76-59) in their last two outings. The pair of setbacks dropped CMU to a sub-.500 overall record including its 2-4 mark in MAC action. The Chippewas are weak on both ends of the court with a scoring offense of 66.7 ppg to their scoring defense of 69.5 ppg.
The Chippewas sank just 29.8 percent (14-of-47) of their field goal attempts and allowed WMU to connect on 46.0 percent (23-of-50) of its shots from the floor in their last outing. Kyle Randall and Blake Hibbitts produced 14 points apiece, but the squad struggled as a whole and had no answer for the Broncos' post players. Randall is the fifth-leading scorer in the conference at 16.4 ppg, but Hibbitts is a far ways away in second place on the team at 8.1 ppg. Chris Fowler has shown the ability to run the offense and distribute effectively, as he deals out 5.1 assists per contest and records 1.4 steals per contest as well.
Although Reggie Witherspoon's Bulls come in with a 7-13 overall record and a 2-4 mark in MAC play, they have been playing much better in recent weeks. They won two games over Bowling Green (68-65) and Ball State (66-63) to build some momentum before coming up just short and falling, 68-64, to the first-place Akron Zips. The Bulls went 24-of-56 from the floor (42.9 percent) and hit 9- of-20 from 3-point range versus Akron, but the Zips were a shade better with their 44.2 percent shooting display. Jarryn Skeete came off the bench to pour in a team-best 19 points, Tony Watson II netted 15 points, and Javon McCrea posted 10 points and seven boards.
The Bulls will try to ride McCrea to their third win in four outings as he has stepped up to post 20.0 points and 9.2 boards per MAC contest. McCrea has six double-doubles this season, already equaling his season totals of both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Buffalo's recent improvement may be related to Will Regan's recent outburst from distance. The sophomore forward has launched 21 3-point attempts over the past three games after only attempting 35 over the first 17 games. The Bulls were able to dish out 14 assists to 13 turnovers against Akron despite being without junior point guard Jarod Oldham, who is out recovering from a wrist injury.
The Bulls were expected to be one of the top teams in the MAC this season. Although they are without their floor general, they have started to realize their potential over their past few outings. CMU is far from competing for the MAC crown and it will show at Alumni Arena on Wednesday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Buffalo 68, Central Michigan 59
01/30 10:34:28 ET