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Preview: UB hosts Akron in what amounts to a MAC playoff game

It should be a playoff-like atmosphere tonight when the University at Buffalo meets Akron at 7 p.m. at Alumni Arena.

Records: UB 17-9, 8-6. Akron 17-10-8-6.

At Stake: UB and Akron are tied for fifth in the Mid-American Conference. The loser essentially is out of the race for one of the top four spots and a bye into the MAC quarterfinals.

Late Developments: Akron lost freshman point guard Noah Robotham to a torn knee ligament in the last game. He was averaging 30 minutes, 9.9 points and 3.3 assists. He also was the No. 2 three-point shooter on the team. He will be replaced by freshman Antino Jackson, a quick player averaging 13.7 minutes and 4.6 points. He shoots the three, too. But his assist-to-turnover ratio isn't nearly as good as Robotham's.

Keys to the game: If UB can defend the three-point line and have its normal offensive game, it should be in good shape. UB lost at Akron, 75-72, two weeks ago. Akron made 10 threes in the game. Akron leads the MAC with 9.6 threes made a game. UB has more scoring power than Akron.

Top Zips: No. 34 C Pat Forsythe, 6-11 (10.8 ppg). No. 2 PF Kwan Cheatham (8.2 ppg). No. 4 SG Deji Ibitayo (9.9).

Scoring: UB 2nd 75.6. Akron 5th 68.5

FG%: UB 5th 44.2. Akron 11th 41.4.

Defense: UB 8th 70.9. Akron 3rd 65.7

Defensive FG%: UB 8th 44.4. Akron 4th 42.9.

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