Extra points from Akron’s 75-71 victory over the University at Buffalo Tuesday night:
X Akron coach Keith Dambrot has led the Zips to 10 straight 20-win seasons but he had lost six straight at Alumni Arena before Tuesday.
Said Dambrot: “I thought that was a typical Akron-Buffalo game. A lot of credit to them. Tough. They re-loaded it really well. They’re a little different than they’ve been but still good. . . . I’m just happy we finally won a game here. I was starting to think we were jinxed.”
X UB played mostly good defense against the biggest team in the Mid-American Conference. Rebounds were tied, 39-39. UB used a combination of Ikenna Smart, Nick Perkins and David Kadiri on Akron center Isaiah “Big Dog” Johnson. He had 14 points and nine rebounds. Smart, who had been picking up fouls at a rate of one every four minutes, played 20 minutes and had just one foul. He scored nine points.
UB coach Nate Oats: “I feel between Ikenna and Perkins and David, I thought they did a really good job fronting him. You’re not going to keep that kid scoreless. When you front, it’s hard to get back and box out, so you’re going to give up some O-boards occasionally.”
Said Dambrot: “They did a really good job of keeping it front getting there. They’re really the first team all year that has played us that way. So this is what Game 14. That’s the first team that did not allow the ball into the post. Like everything else, you have to learn to deal with different things.”
X Oats on UB’s final three-pointer to tie, which Willie Conner missed with 7 seconds left: “The last play, that one’s on me. I thought they’d try to foul us so we couldn’t get the three off. I wanted to get the ball in Jarryn Skeete’s hands. Then I thought if they didn’t foul they were going to switch everything. I didn’t think they’d have Johnson in the game. So we were trying to counter a switch with Skeete. They ended up not switching like I thought they would. I didn’t do a very good job on that last play when we needed to get the three off. I told the guys I’ll take that one.”
X UB had trouble defending sophomore guard Antino Jackson, who had 16 points, seven assists and no turnovers. He took a lot of shots (making 5 of 16), but he hit some key shots. Dambrot compared him with Shannon Evans, UB’s star from last season. Jackson (5-11) is shorter but a little quicker than Evans.
Said Dambrot: “We kind of let our little guy get loose a little and decided to roll with him, and it worked for us. . . . He’s just gone two games with 15 assists and no turnovers, which for him is a miracle, because he was a turnover-prone machine last year. He still takes a bad shot or two. But you have to live with the home run-strikeout aspect of his game. It’s kind of like Shannon Evans in some ways. He’s a volume guy, and you’ve got to live with it, because he can make enough plays that you can win games with him. He’s a jet, now. He’s one of the fastest guys I’ve ever coached. And he’s good with the ball, and he can shoot it and he can drive it. I thought he was pathetic defensively early in the game but he got better at the end.”
Said Oats: “We didn’t really have an answer for Jackson. Antino kind of got whatever he wanted to. He shoots a lot. We knew he’d take a lot of bad ones. But he hits some big ones. He got seven assists. He’s getting in the lane and making plays. We didn’t do a very good job on him for sure.”