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Monday, February 05, 2018

First place Bulls return to the road Tuesday night at Central Michigan

All WNY News     Monday, February 05, 2018    


BUFFALO -- The Bulls return to the road for two straight games against the MAC West beginning on Tuesday night with a trip to Central Michigan.  The Chippewas are one of just two MAC teams that UB has not seen yet this season.  This will be the only regular season meeting between the two teams.

Buffalo holds an 18-14 lead in the all-time series and has won the last four meetings, including the most important one, which was for the 2015 MAC Tournament Championship.  Last season, UB scored an average of 100.0 points in the two games with Central Michigan.

Buffalo has won 11 straight games against MAC West teams dating back to last year, its longest streak against the opposite division since joining the league.  UB will play its next two games against the MAC West, heading to Northern Illinois on Saturday afternoon.

After recording 21 assists on Friday night, the Bulls are now averaging 17.5 assists per game in 10 MAC contests.  UB is averaging 16.8 assists per game, which is top 30 in the nation. Five times this season, UB has recorded 20 or more assists in a game.

UB's 17-6 record is its best record through 23 games since the 2008-09 season when they also went 17-6 through 23 games.  That was also the last time that Buffalo was 9-1 in Mid-American Conference play.

Buffalo is currently 22nd in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 83.3 points per game.  UB has only averaged 80.0 for an entire season once in their school history back during the 1970-71 season.  On Tuesday night, Buffalo will be playing a Central Michigan team that averaged over 80.0 points per game last season with Marcus Keene and Braylon Rayson.

Junior Jeremy Harris averaged 18.0 points in Buffalo's two games last week.  He was dominant from behind the arc as he made 8-of-10 his three pointers during the week.  Harris was a perfect 4-of-4 from three-point range in the win over Western Michigan. Harris is shooting 50% from three in MAC games, hitting 27-of-54.

The Opponent

Central Michigan is coming off a double overtime road win at Ohio on Saturday afternoon and they are 15-8 on the year and 4-6 in the league.  The Chippewas began the year 12-2 as they rolled through non-conference, but have won just three of their last nine.   CMU is currently riding a two-game winning streak.
Central Michigan has four players averaging double figures led by Shawn Roundtree, who is averaging 15.0 points per game and a team-high 95 assists.  Cecil Williams is adding 14.8 points and David DiLeo is averaging 12.6 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds.  Luke Meyer chips in 10.0 points per contest.
The Chippewas are the best free throw shooting teams in the country as CMU shoots 80.5% as a team from the line which leads all of the NCAA.  Central Michigan is the only team in the country to shoot better than 80% from the line.
Keno Davis is in his sixth season as head coach at Central Michigan. In 2016-17, that Davis-coached offense ranked third in the nation, averaging an explosive 88.3 points per game, triggered by the dynamic backcourt duo of Marcus Keene and Braylon Rayson, the former the nation's leading scorer. In one season at Drake and three at Providence, Davis compiled a 74-55 (.574) record and made two postseason appearance. Prior to taking over as the head coach at Drake, Davis served as an assistant under his father, Dr. Tom Davis, at Drake from 2003-07. Keno Davis began his coaching career in 1995 as an assistant for two years under Bruce Pearl at Southern Indiana. Keno and his father share the distinction of being the only father-son duo to have captured national coach of the year honors. 
How The West Was Won

Buffalo has won 11 straight games against the MAC West as it begins a three-game stretch against teams from the opposite division.  The Bulls have won all six of their games against the West this season with wins over Toledo, Ball State, Northern Illinois,Eastern Michigan, and twice against Western Michigan. UB heads to road games at Central Michigan and Northern Illinois.  The Bulls will look to sweep the season series from the Huskies when it travels to DeKalb on Saturday.
The 11 wins in a row against the West is the longest streak for UB since joining the league.   Kent State has already played six games against the MAC West and has the second best record amongst East schools this year at 4-2.


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