BUFFALO, NY – The visiting Akron Zips shot nearly 60% from behind the arc on Friday night as they defeated the University at Buffalo men's basketball team, 89-83. The announced attendance of 6,598 was the largest home crowd of the season and the largest crowd at Alumni Arena since March 6, 2015.
The Zips led for most of the evening as they raced out to a 14-4 lead to start the night. Akron continued to lead 19-12 when the Bulls went on a 10-3 run as a layup from senior Raheem Johnson tied the game up at 22-22 with 6:33 left. Akron then scored eight of the next 10 points to regain a six-point advantage before taking a 38-33 lead into the break.
The Zips saw their lead expand to as many as 17 in the second half as a three-pointer from Josh Williams gave Akron a 61-44 advantage with 12:42. The Bulls then tried to answer, fighting as hard as they could to get back into the game.
Buffalo pulled within nine numerous times, including with 6:00 remaining and then continued to get closer as a three-pointer from senior Willie Conner pulled UB back to within 75-70 with 4:46 left. UB continued to trail by five with 2:41 left, but the Zips hit one of their 13 threes on the night, this time coming from Jimond Ivey. UB would get within five two more times, but could never pull any closer.
The Bulls had four players in double figures led by 23 points, eight rebounds, and six assists from Blake Hamilton, who struggled from the floor, but went 13-of-17 from the free throw line.
Johnson had six points and three rebounds in seven minutes off the bench. The Bulls had a huge advantage on the boards as they outrebounded Akron, 42-22. UB finished the night with 19 offensive rebounds almost finishing with as many offensive boards as the Zips had total.
Akron improved to 23-6 with the win and 13-3 in league play. They had five players in double figures led by 19 points from Isaiah Johnson.
Buffalo will now begin the final week of the regular season on Tuesday night at Ohio. Tipoff is at 6pm and for the second straight game, it will air nationally on CBS Sports Network.