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Akron pulls away from UB men in second half of basketball game

The University at Buffalo men’s basketball team not only left Rhodes Arena on Tuesday night with another loss, 80-70, to the Akron Zips. They probably left angry as well.

The Bulls built a 36-23 lead, their largest of the game, with 3:27 left in the first half. Akron sliced that to three with a 10-0 run, with six of the points in the run coming at the foul line. Five fouls were called against UB in the final 3:40, bailing out a cold-shooting Akron team.

Akron started the second half shooting free throws after UB coach Nate Oats was called for a technical after the first half time had run out. Later, UB’s Nick Perkins picked up a personal foul and a technical with the game tied at 64-all and 6:45 left to play.

Noah Robotham made the second of his two technical free throws to put the Zips in front, 65-64, then Isaiah Johnson cashed both of his for a 67-64 lead.

The Bulls, who had fallen behind 56-45 after four straight three-point shots by Akron, never got even again.

UB went 4 minutes and 44 seconds without a field goal over the last 5:07 of the game. The loss dropped the Bulls to 7-6 and out of a five-way tie for second place in the Mid-American Conference. Akron is 10-3, including a sweep of the season series over UB.

Freshman CJ Massinburg led the UB scoring for the second game in a row, hitting for 21 points. Five-foot-11 guard Antino Jackson led Akron with 20 points.

Akron had only one more field goal than the Bulls but was 13 of 32 (40.6 percent) from three-point range. UB was only 3 of 16 (18.8). The Bulls outrebounded Akron 37-25, not including team rebounds.

Robotham was 4 for 6 and Reggie McAdams 4 for 9 on three-point attempts by Akron. Center Isaiah Johnson, all 6-10, 295 pounds of him, had 14 points and 11 rebounds in the victory.

UB will be home against Bowling Green at noon Saturday.