BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team erased a 10-point deficit midway through the second half to defeat Akron, 73-70, at Alumni Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Trailing, 58-48 with 10:03 left, the Bulls mounted a 13-3 scoring run and a steal and dunk by Mitchell Watt tied the game at 61 with 6:16 remaining. From there, the lead would change hands five times over the next four minutes.
With the Bulls trailing 69-68, Dave Barnett hit a three-pointer from the corner that danced around the rim before trickling through the twine and Buffalo led 71-69 with 1:22 left.
Akron (10-7, 1-2 MAC) trailed, 71-70, with less than a minute remaining looking to take the lead. But that is when Jarod Oldham came up with the biggest play of his young career. Oldham step in the passing lane, intercepted a pass and drove to the other end where he was fouled. The freshman guard calmly sank both free throws to give the Bulls the 73-70 victory. The Zips had a couple of looks at three for the tie but were unable to convert.
"Coach sends me in on defense, so I pride myself on defense," Oldham said. "I try to stay composed and be aggressive on defense and try to get a stop."
Four of the Bulls' five starters scored in double-figures, led by Byron Mulkey's 17 points. The senior guard hit a career-high five three-pointers on six attempts and added five assists and three steals.
Barnett finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists – all career highs. Watt and Titus Robinson finished with 10 and 11 points, respectively.
Buffalo (9-6, 1-2 MAC) outrebounded Akron, 34-29. The Bulls grabbed 11 offensive boards and scored nine second-chance points. Barnett and Javon McCrea led the way with seven boards apiece.
Buffalo will remain at home and host Kent State on Wednesday night at 7:30 pm at Alumni Arena.