Jeremy Harris scored 15 of his 19 in the first half as 23rd-ranked Buffalo overcame an early 18-point deficit to post a 90-76 win over visiting Central Michigan on Saturday afternoon.
Harris went 7-for-11 from the floor in the first half after shooting 8-for-32 in his previous three games. CJ Massinburg scored all 18 of his points in the second half and Dontay Caruthers added 16 for the Bulls (20-3, 8-2 Mid-American Conference East), who improved to 10-0 at home.
Shawn Roundtree scored a season-high 26 points for the Chippewas (16-7, 5-5 MAC West), who have dropped four of their last six. Roundtree shot 9 of 16 from the field and eclipsed his previous season high in points (23) which was set in Central Michigan’s 100-94 win at Youngstown State on Dec. 4.
David DiLeo gave Central Michigan a 49-42 lead just 2:20 into the second half, but Nick Perkins sank both free throws and Caruthers converted twice in transition before his steal set up Davonta Jordan’s layup to give Buffalo a 50-49 advantage.
Massinburg, who had 26 points in a 92-88 loss at Bowling Green on Feb. 1, finally found the scoresheet with a 3-pointer at 7:17 of the second half. Harris connected from beyond the arc on the next possession and Jordan’s steal set up a Massinburg dunk to extend the Bulls’ lead to 58-49.
The Chippewas began to chip away before Jeenathan Williams worked the interior with a layup and a dunk and Massinburg drilled a 3-pointer to stake Buffalo to a 67-56 advantage with 7:56 to play. The Bulls withstood another charge as Roundtree and DiLeo sank 3-pointers to cut the Bulls’ lead to three, but Massinburg converted from beyond the arc and Buffalo made its free throws to seal the win.
Roundtree drained a 3-pointer to bookend his team’s 24-4 run as Central Michigan seized a 32-14 lead with 7:53 remaining in the first half.
Harris scored nine of his team’s next 16 points in a 3 1/2-minute stretch to bring Buffalo back within six at 36-30. Montell McRae’s 3-pointer forged a tie at 38 with 2:08 left, but Robert Montgomery converted a layup on the next possession and Roundtree made a jumper and one foul shot to stake Central Michigan to a 43-38 lead at intermission.
—Field Level Media