Taking a bad loss against Miami to Rhodes Arena, Buffalo Bulls Men’s Basketball had an even tougher challenge awaiting them. The Akron Zips are playing amazing basketball right now and although Buffalo kept right in it for the whole game, the Bulls couldn’t close it out. Moving to 18-3, Akron won this matchup 91-90.
Buffalo quickly showed that they were going to be challenging Akron all night in the early going. Willie Conner came out of the gate running and scored five of the first seven UB points. Nick Perkins then went red hot and shot a pair of triples and brought in a layup.
Leading 22-14, Buffalo soon found themselves in trouble. The offense quickly dried up and Akron caught fire. The Zips followed up the early UB start with a 22-6 run to go up 36-27 and Buffalo spent the rest of the game playing catch up. Blake Hamilton found his rhythm and sent in four of the last five made Buffalo shots in the half.
With a virtually reset game at 43-40, Buffalo and Akron went shot for shot for much of the second half. Hamilton continued his dominance but one of the biggest daggers in UB’s chances of winning this game came when it was tied at 67. From there, Akron’s Kwan Cheatham drained three straight triples to cap off a 31 point night. UB didn’t get back to within real striking distance until the game was brought to 79-78 with a layup from CJ Massinburg.
The rest of the game saw Akron get to the line a lot and Buffalo quickly fell into foul trouble. Dontay Caruthers, David Kadiri, and Nick Perkins all managed to foul out before game’s end. But, the most controversial play happened on the very last.
Tied at 90 points a piece, the refs called a foul on Kadiri with three seconds to play and sent Isaiah Johnson to the line. Johnson sank a free throw and Akron ultimately won the game.
Blake Hamilton fell just three points short of his career high tonight with 33 in one of his best shooting nights as a Bull. The senior made 13 of his 16 shots. Willie Conner (19), CJ Massinburg (14), and Nick Perkins (14 and 8 rebounds) all had big nights as well.
Buffalo is back in action on Tuesday for a home matchup against Central Michigan. The game will be at 7:00PM and air on ESPN3.