Akron (17-8) at Buffalo (14-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 19, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Arena (6,100) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: TWC, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Akron 10-1, Buffalo 10-2. Away Record: Akron 6-5, Buffalo 4-5. Neutral Record: Akron 1-2, Buffalo 0-1. Conference Record: Akron 9-3, Buffalo 8-4. Series Record: Akron leads, 26-22.
GAME NOTES: Both the Akron Zips and Buffalo Bulls are fighting for a top spot in the Mid-American Conference standings, and their rivalry will take another step forward as they clash at Alumni Arena Wednesday.
Akron has won three of its last four games played, including a 62-54 victory over Northern Illinois Saturday in conference play. The Zips are currently sitting on a 9-3 MAC record and occupy the top spot in the MAC East Division.
Buffalo had a three-game win streak broken up on Saturday, as the Bulls narrowly were defeated by Ohio, 73-70. Buffalo finds itself a game behind Akron at 8-4.
Akron holds a slim all-time series lead over Buffalo, 26-22. The Bulls however, have won three of the past four meetings against the Zips, and have won four in a row at home. The two teams will meet again this season on March 4.
Against Northern Illinois, Akron traded baskets with the Huskies in the first half, with the Zips taking a one-point lead into the intermission. But the Zips were able to pull ahead more in the second half to create some distance for the win. Demetrius Treadwell recorded a double-double with a team-high 25 points and 10 rebounds. He was the only Zips player to notch double figures in terms of points, with three other Akron players tallying nine points apiece.
Treadwell leads the team in scoring this season with 14.5 ppg on 46.5 percent shooting from the floor. The forward also tops the squad in rebounding with an 8.8 rpg margin. Quincy Diggs is the only other Zips player to average double- digit point totals, netting 12.1 ppg with a 34 percent mark from beyond the 3- point arc. Diggs bests the roster with a 2.7 apg average and 1.7 spg. His 4.4 rpg is second to Treadwell.
Buffalo held a 10-point lead over Ohio, 63-53, on Saturday with just under 10 minutes left to play, but the Bobcats were able to make a run late in the game to take over the lead. Javon McCrea led Buffalo in scoring in the game, netting 18 points with eight rebounds, four assists and five steals. Shannon Evans came off the bench to score 13 points, adding six rebounds and four assists to his resume. Joshua Freelove rounded out the double-digit scorers for Buffalo with 10 points.
McCrea has been one of the more dominant players this season for Buffalo, in his senior year with the team. McCrea leads the Bulls in scoring with an impressive 18.3 ppg on 58.6 percent shooting from the field. McCrea is averaging a double-double on the year with a 10.1 rpg mark, adding a team-best 53 blocked shots to his stat line. Freelove checks in behind McCrea in scoring at 12.5 ppg, and Will Regan is third at 10.5 ppg. Jarod Oldham tops the team in assists on the year with 118, and had 39 steals as well.
This is one of the more highly anticipated matches coming down the stretch of the MAC season featuring two teams battling for the East Division title. Buffalo is a very strong team at home, and with the thought of having to go to Akron later this season, the Bulls will want this win badly.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Buffalo 78, Akron 73
02/19 10:40:56 ET