Bulls Snap Akron’s 19-Game Winning Streak
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo men's basketball team topped 24th-ranked Akron, 81-67, at Alumni Arena on Saturday night to snap the Zips' 19-game winning streak – the nation's longest. It was the Bulls' first-ever win over a nationally-ranked program.
Javon McCrea scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half to lead all scorers. The junior forward added six rebounds, four blocks and three steals.
Buffalo (12-17, 7-7 MAC) shot 56 percent from the field, including 60 percent in the second half to help seal the win. The Bulls also knocked down 7-of-17 three-point field goal attempts. UB came out of the gates firing, making all seven three-pointers in the first half.
"I think our guys have persevered all year and made a great effort to just take it just a day at a time in an attempt to get better every single day. I think today we put together a pretty good 40 minutes," head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. "We've needed to get to another level of determination and I think we did get there tonight."
Trailing, 17-15, with 10:05 left in the half, Jarryn Skeete nailed a three-pointer to give the Bulls an 18-17 lead. It was a lead they wouldn't relinquish for the remainder of the half as they led, 37-32, at the break.
Akron (23-5, 13-1) opened the second half on a 10-4 scoring run to take a 42-41 lead. The lead would see-saw before a top-of-the-key jumper from McCrea gave the Bulls the lead for good, 48-46, with 12:23 left. McCrea's jumper sparked a 14-4 UB run and a Skeete off-balanced layup put the Bulls ahead, 60-50, with 7:06 remaining.
Buffalo did a great job thwarting an Akron rally as the Zips would get no closer than eight points the rest of the way. Second-half defense played a huge key as UB held Akron to just 38 percent shooting in the second stanza. For the game, the Zips shot just 4-of-21 from beyond the arc.
Along with McCrea, three other Bulls finished in double-figures in the scoring column. Skeete had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. Will Regan finished with 16 points, a game-high seven rebounds and a career-best three blocked shots. Tony Watson had 13 points, including a trio of three-pointers, and added six assists.
Akron was led by Zeke Marshall who finished with 17 points and five blocks. Alex Abreu and Demetrius Treadwell each tallied 14. It was Akron's first loss since losing to Detroit on December 15.
Buffalo will next host Ohio on Tuesday night at Alumni Arena.