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Bulls show grit, and stand tall with a big road win.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 28 Buffalo at Akron Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was not a “pretty” win, but when you’re coming off a home loss as a big road dog to perhaps the best team in the conference getting the win was huge.

Buffalo jumped out to a 13 point late in the first, pulling away over time until a Gabe Grant dunk put UB up 28-15 with 4:08 left in the first half. From that point on Akron chipped away at the lead, going into the half down only 8 to Buffalo.

Akron burst out on a big run in the second half to close to within one, but then Buffalo quickly answered to get some breathing room.

This tug of war continued the entire second half. No UB lead was safe and no Akron run was enough to get them a lead. Mostly it was UB getting up two possessions and Akron coming back to make it one but there were a few notable instances where it looked as if Akron had solved Buffalo and would take the lead.

Time Starting Score Akron Run Ending Score Buffalo Run
20:00 33-25 5-0 30-20 7-0
17:06 40-30 9-0 40-39 3-0
13:38 48-42 4-0 48-46 4-0
10:58 54-46 7-0 54-43 6-1
1:44 74-69 5-0 74-74 3-0

Akron tied the game with less than 30 seconds left, and set up a trap at half court. Davonta Jordan broke the trap and got the ball to Grant at the corner who then hist a three with only a couple of ticks left on the clock. Buffalo’s defense did the rest.

The “ugly” part of the win was the 20 turnovers that UB racked up. Josh Mballa himself handed the ball over to Akron six times. But he also had a double double, drew a good number of fouls, and went 7-8 from the line.

Brock Bertham got the start for Buffalo, and put in 18 minutes. His numbers don’t pop off the page (2 points, seven rebounds) but his presence down low seemed to stifle the Akron offense a bit.

The Bulls return home this Friday for a huge game against Bowling Green. With a win UB would pull to within on game of the MAC East leading Falcons.