Trailing 39-37 at halftime, Central Michigan (6-5, 1-2 MAC) went cold from the field in the second half and lost its Mid-American Conference home opener to the Bulls, 83-67.
The Chippewas shot just 8-of-36 from the field for 22.2 percent in the second stanza and were outscored 44-30 by Buffalo (9-3, 1-2 MAC).
"Give them credit, their four seniors played well," CMU head coach Jay Smith said. "In the MAC you need to play for 40 minutes and we didn't do that. We played like we practiced the past couple days."
Buffalo head coach Reggie Witherspoon understood the advantage he had on the floor in terms of experience with his four seniors.
"One of the things that is true in this league is that it's not so much easier to win with seniors as it's hard to win with freshmen and sophomores.
The Chippewas led for much of the first half, holding a 30-22 lead with 6:01 remaining. Buffalo then went on a 17-7 run to claim a 39-37 lead at halftime.
"We didn't defend like we're capable of," Smith said. "We looked like a young team that didn't know how to fight for a win."
Junior guard Kevin Nelson led three CMU players in double-figures scoring with 20 points. Freshman point guard Giordan Watson added 12 and Eddie Spencer 10 for the Chippewas.
The Bulls hit 52.8 percent of their shots from the field on 28-of-53 compared to CMU's 20-of-66 for 30.3 percent. Buffalo senior guard Turner Battle led all scorers with 22 points. Three other Bulls scored in twin figures, including Calvin Cage with 15 points and Daniel Gilbert and Yassin Idbihi with 12 apiece.
"Intensity for both teams was great," Witherspoon said. "CMU played hard but we wanted to make sure they weren't just getting to the basket for easy layups."
The Chippewas return to Rose Arena Sunday for a MAC game against rival Eastern Michigan. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m.
Smith said it's important for his team to get back on track.
"We're not consistent," Smith said. "Opportunities slipped through our fingers against Buffalo because of a lack of focus."
Central Michigan University had no answer for Eastern Michigan forward John Bowler as he scored 24…