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Buffalo Bulls vs. Central Michigan Chippewas men's basketball preview

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Can the Bulls end their losing streak and avenge an early season loss?

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Following two close losses, Buffalo plays host to a surging Central Michigan team this Saturday as both teams look to remain close to the top of the Mid-American Conference.

Buffalo (15-8, 6-5) enters the game following a close loss against Toledo, in which the Bulls fell 92-88 despite 33 points and 10 rebounds from Justin Moss. The Bulls now find themselves in 4th in the MAC East, still well ahead of cellar dwellers Ohio and Miami but two games behind division leader Bowling Green. Moss leads the team with 19 points per game, while sophomore guard Shannon Evans contributes 15.3 points per game and 4.5 assists per game.

Central Michigan (17-5, 7-4) finds themselves on a two game win streak after a raucous home win last weekend against rival Western Michigan and a commanding victory at Ohio earlier this week. Central Michigan is led by junior guard Chris Fowler, who is just over a week removed from his 42 point performance against Bowling Green. Other major contributors for the Chippewas include junior forward John Simons (11.6 points per game) and sophomore guard Braylon Rayson. A win for the Chippewas combined with a Toledo loss would allow CMU to tie the Rockets for first atop the MAC West

In the previous meeting between these two teams, the Chippewas were unstoppable on offense, winning a 84-73 contest in Mount Pleasant. Central Michigan shot 16 for 29 from beyond the arc, and a respectable Buffalo performance on the other end of the court was unable to keep pace. Rayson led the Chippewas with 19 points while Moss scored 26 in a losing effort.

Central Michigan has owned its #3MU identity, and the Chippewas continue to live or die by their performance beyond the arc. If Buffalo can limit CMU's open shooters from outside and force the Chippewas to drive the lane, it could give the Bulls the opportunity to win the game. If CMU can replicate their shooting performance from a few weeks ago, look for the Chippewas to sweep the season series.

The game tips off at 2 PM at Alumni Arena, and will also be streaming live on ESPN3 or the WatchESPN app.