Buffalo, NY - (WOIO) - The Akron offense put up a season-high 90 points, but it wasn't enough as the Zips fell 96-90 to the Buffalo Bulls on Wednesday in a Mid-American Conference East Division contest.
The Zips, down by as many as 14 in the second half, cut the Bulls' lead to two points on several occasions, with the last coming with 5:14 remaining. However, Akron would not be able to overcome the deficit.
Joshua Freelove led Buffalo (15-8, 9-4 MAC) with 21 points.
The Bulls opened the second half on an 8-2 run to take a 56-44 lead, forcing the Zips to call a time out with 17:33 left in the game. Down as many as 14 (60-46), Akron would slowly start trimming the deficit. The Zips would trail 66-58 at the under-12 media timeout.
Javon McCrea was called for a technical at the 11:04 with Buffalo leading 69-58. Akron would go on a 9-3 run, capped off by a Diggs drive to the rim, cut the Buffalo lead to five (72-67) with 8:59 on the clock.
Treadwell would move the Zips within two points (79-77), but the Bulls would enter the final media timeout up four (81-77). Akron would cut the lead to one possession on several occasions, but would not be able to overcome the deficit.
The game started off with both teams hot from the field, combining to go 17-of-27 from the field over the first 9:41. The Bulls would hold a slim 20-18 lead following the opening stretch.
Buffalo would hit 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions to push its lead to 31-27 with 6:37 left in the first half. A McCrea dunk in the closing seconds of the period would give the Bulls a 48-42 lead at the intermission.
Both teams shot the ball well in the first 20 minutes, with the Zips hitting 17-of-31 from the field (54.8 percent) and the Bulls connecting on 19-of-28 (67.9 percent).
Evans led the Zips with nine points at the half, with Jake Kretzer and Forsythe pitching in with eight points each.
The Zips return home on Saturday, Feb. 22, when they welcome the Ohio Bobcats to Rhodes Arena. Tip off is set for 6 p.m. ET and the contest will air live on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel and ESPN3.
Zips Notebook: Freshman Kwan Cheatham, Jr., made his first collegiate start of the season ... Akron hit 10 3-point baskets for the 10th time this season, falling to 8-2 in those games ... Buffalo's 96 points were the most allowed by the Zips in a MAC game since Toledo scored 92 in overtime on March 10, 2009.