Right from the start Buffalo fed the bull.
Pass from the top of the key to the post. Dunk.
Pass from the side to the court to the post. Lay-up.
Pass from transition to the post. Another easy bucket.
The Buffalo Bulls (13-7, 7-3 in MAC) beat Central Michigan (8-14, 1-9 in MAC) 79-70, Saturday night using that formula.
The Bull was senior forward and NBA prospect Javon McCrea who had a big night with 25 points, 20 rebounds, shooting 12-for-22 from the floor.
CMU sophomore forward Austin Stewart had the job of doubling down on McCrea.
Stewart walked into the press conference with a bloody and bruised arm.
“McCrea is a great player,” Stewart said. “He had a great game tonight. It was a physical game but I wouldn’t say it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle. We’ve had physical games before. We could of played better but I mean it was a physical game and they played well.”
Stewart finished the game with 15 points shooting 5-for-8.
The Chippewas trailed by three points at halftime.
In the second half, CMU went ice cold from the 3-point line even with wide open shots.
Sophomore guard and team leader Chris Fowler said the team didn’t run the offense effectively.
“We got some good shots for shooters that usually make those shots,” Fowler said. “We ran our offense not necessarily the way we want it to because if it was the shots would of went down. We got open shots but what we didn’t do today was go to the line. When shots aren’t falling we have to do a better job of getting to the line.”
Fowler finished the game with 17 points.
CMU head coach Keno Davis said he knew McCrea would pose a nightmare for CMU with the lack of height on the Chippewas roster.
“I think we knew coming into this game about the tough matchup,” Davis said. “We knew Buffalo had size and strength. I think you guys saw what kind of special player he is, I’m glad he will be leaving the conference at the end of the year and we won’t have to see him again.”
McCrea was so powerful inside that he forced CMU to take more 3-pointers than Davis wanted.
“We missed some really open shots,” Davis said. “I think we got a little happy shooting the perimeter shot instead of getting to the basket. I understand that McCrea can make you want to shoot it from the perimeter rather than attack.”