AKRON, Ohio – A second-half surge courtesy of a 19-0 run helped the Akron Zips erase a 20-point deficit to defeat the Buffalo Bulls 68-64 on Saturday night in front of 5,403 rowdy fans at James A. Rhodes Arena.
Down 32-12 with 8:30 left in the first half, Akron (15-4, 6-0 MAC) cut the Buffalo lead to six at the intermission (37-31) thanks to a 19-5 spurt. The Zips would use the 19-0 run in the second half to turn a 55-42 Bulls' advantage with 11:37 remaining into a 61-55 UA lead with 5:31 left on the clock. The comeback was the largest since UA erased a 17-point deficit to beat Youngstown State on Nov. 26, 2005.
Despite the surge, the Bulls would keep the game close, with UB's Jarryn Skeete hitting a 3-pointer and earning a free throw on the play. However, his freebee to tie the game with 1:25 remaining would rim out to keep the Akron lead at 63-62. The Zips would go 5-of-6 at the line from that point on to seal the victory.
The win extended Akron's winning streak to 11-straight games, the second-longest active streak in the nation (Kansas, 17).
Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell and Alex Abreu led the Zips scoring attack with 13 points each. Jake Kretzer, who had 8 points on the night, was a key contributor to the 19-0 run when he sank two powerful 3-pointers and went 2-of-2 from the free throw line.
Zeke Marshall helped silence the Bulls as he posted six blocked shots on the night for a combined 15 swats in the past two games.
The Zips shot 44.2 percent from the floor (23-of-52) and 41.2 percent from long range (7-of-17). The Bulls closed the game connecting on 42.9 percent from the field (24-of-56) and 45.0 from behind the arc (9-of-20).
Skeete led the Bulls (7-13, 2-4 MAC) with 19 points on the night.
After opening the game shooting 9-of-9 and leading the Zips by 20, it was not until 9:11 into the game that the Bulls would miss their first shot.
Buffalo went on to shoot 31.6 percent later in the first half, connecting on only 6-of-19, allowing the Zips to close the gap and bring the score to 37-31 at halftime. UA shot 46.2 percent from the field in the first half (12-of-26) to Buffalo's 53.6 percent (15-of-28).
The Zips will travel to Bowling Green on Wednesday, Jan. 30, for a 7 p.m. ET contest on SportsTime Ohio.
Zips Notebook: The Zips' 11-game winning streak is the longest since UA won 14-straight during the 1972-73 season ... the run is also the longest in the MAC since Kent State won 21 in a row during the 2001-02 season ... the UA coaching staff wore sneakers as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer "Suits and Sneakers" event to raise cancer awareness ... Akron started 6-0 in MAC play for the third time in program history (2005-06, 1999-2000).