Buffalo exacted early revenge for its loss in the MAC Championship with a 78-65 win over Akron.
Bulls senior guard Rodney Pierce tied a career high with 31 points. The big difference in the game was 3-point shooting, where Buffalo was 9-for-14 (64.3 percent) and Akron made only 4-of-18 (22.2 percent). The Zips also missed 12 free throws (55.6 percent).
Heading into the game, the teams were tied at 2-0 for the division lead.
Jimmy Conyers led Akron with 17 points and seven rebounds. Sean Smiley added 21 points for Buffalo.
"We've been waiting for this game since last year," Smiley said in the postgame TV interview.
Buffalo built its lead in the final minutes in the first half, when the margin quickly grew from three to 13. The run included a technical foul on Keith Dambrot. Akron whittled Buffalo's lead down to six with six minutes to play, but Buffalo responded with a 7-0 run to put the Zips away.
Akron's next game is Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Miami at Rhodes Arena. I have a council meeting, so unfortunately I won't be able to make it.