CMU Outlasts Buffalo in Double OT, 100-96

MOUNT PLEASANT - Giordan Watson's career high-tying 34 points helped Central Michigan University gut out a 100-96 double-vertime win over Buffalo Saturday night in Rose Arena.

The teams traded three-pointers in the final nine seconds of the first overtime as Chris Kellermann gave CMU an 84-81 lead with nine ticks left and the Bulls Andy Robinson answered with a trey with only one second left.

Central Michigan (9-11, 4-4 Mid-American) made four of its five field goal attempts in the second overtime to pull out the four-point win.

"Our guys showed toughness and wouldn't wilt," coach Ernie Zeigler said. "Buffalo is not a team reflective of its record. The Bulls played back-to-back double-overtime games and battled us the entire night. I'm proud that we were tougher when the clock hit zero."

The game featured 21 ties and 13 lead changes before it was settled. In the two overtimes combined, CMU shot 80 percent (8-for-10) from the floor, 83 percent (5-for-6) from three-point range and 80 percent (8-for-10) from the line.

"We had these types of games last year, and couldn't pull them out," Zeigler said. "Now we're starting to see the fruits of battling through those difficult games. We had a lot of guys step up for us offensively tonight, and that really helps take the pressure off Giordan."

Also hitting double digits for CMU were Kellermann and Allen with 15 each, Jordan Bitzer with 11 and Robbie Harman 10. Marcus Van chipped in with eight points, nine boards and three blocked shots.

The game was tied at 36 at the half and Buffalo gained a seven-point advantage with just over seven minutes to play. However, CMU went on a 7-0 run to tie it back up at 63. Buffalo then led by three with 2:38 left in regulation but the Bulls didn't score again.

Giordan Watson hit a three-pointer to tie it with 39 seconds left and Buffalo had the ball with a three second differential on the shot clock but CMU got a steal and ran the clock down but Watson's jumper at the buzzer was off the mark and an Eddie Spencer putback at the horn was too late.

Watson, Harman and Kellermann all hit big three-pointers in the first overtime, Kellermann's giving CMU a three-point lead with nine seconds left. But following a timeout, Robinson tied it again with a trey from the top of the key following a screen.

CMU hit big shots in the second extra session while Buffalo went 5-for-11 from the floor. CMU iced the win with Watson and Bitzer hitting a pair of free throws each in the final nine seconds.

The win was CMU's sixth straight at home while Buffalo lost its 19th straight MAC road game.

CMU ended up shooting .447 from the floor for the game and .375 from three-point range while draining a season-high 12 treys. Five of the triples came in the extra sessions.

Buffalo shot .455 from both the floor and three-point range but the Bulls hit just five three-pointers.

Robinson led Buffalo with 22 points and Rodney Pierce had 21. A pair of Bulls hit double digits on the glass with Calvin Betts pulling down 11 boards and Greg Gamble 10.

CMU now heads to Bowling Green next Wednesday, Feb. 6. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.


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