The University at Buffalo men's basketball team enjoyed one of its better shooting performances of the season Tuesday, connecting on 52 percent from the floor at the University of Akron.
But afterwards, Reggie Witherspoon was still seeking his first win as the interim coach of the Bulls.
Akron's shooting acumen was almost as sharp (50.8 percent) and the Zips maintained a huge advantage off the boards en route to an 89-67 victory that left the Bulls with their fifth straight loss and a 2-8 record.
UB entered the game averaging 37.4 percent from the floor, so the offensive display was encouraging for Witherspoon.
But the Bulls also were allowing 87.2 points per game. Akron's performance was merely "average."
Akron led, 10-7, with 2:43 gone in the first half, then went on a 24-5 tear and took a 52-28 advantage into halftime.
Over the first 20 minutes, the Zips made three less field goals (20) than UB attempted (23), had 15 offensive rebounds to the Bulls' 14 overall, forced 17 UB turnovers and were well on their way to posting their fourth straight win.
"They're one of the best teams in the MAC's East Division this year, but we had a lot of success against them offensively when we didn't turn the ball over," said Witherspoon. "When we were playing North Carolina, Indiana and Northern Illinois, we just stopped believing and stopped playing. Tonight, we made mistakes, but we didn't stop believing."
UB, 0-2 in the MAC, was outrebounded, 38-24, finished with 26 turnovers. Akron, 2-0 in conference play, had 16, as well as 16 steals.
Rick Fox, who came off the bench and played 21 minutes, led Buffalo with 18 points, while Damien Foster, Nikolai Alexeev and Alexei Vasilev each added 10. But no UB player had more than four rebounds.
Six players hit in double figures for Akron, with three scoring 14 each as the Zips improved to 7-2.
UB's next start is Jan. 2 in a non-conference matchup at Fairleigh Dickinson.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: The University at Buffalo, with Tiffany Bell scoring 20 points and the Bulls enjoying a 15-1 advantage from the foul line, toppled visiting Youngstown State, 74-65, in a non-conference triumph that was their seventh straight win.
Nisha Wilson added 14 points for Buffalo and fellow guard Mari McClure hit for 10 as the Bulls improved to 7-1. Sonia Ortega handed out a career-high 12 assists.
For Youngstown (6-4), Leslie Majewski notched a game-high 26.
UB converted 15 of 20 free throws. Youngstown went to the line twice in the first half and made one.
Canisius, which is 4-0 at home, has yet to win on the road. The Griffs dropped a 73-49 decision to Missouri-Kansas City in the consolation game of the St. Mary's Christmas Classic in Moraga, Calif.
Maggie Guidry topped Canisius (4-5) with 21 points and Shauna Geronzin added 12.
Canisius, hosts UB in its next start Jan. 2 in the Koessler Center.