Akron scored an overtime victory Wednesday against Western Michigan, moving the Zips to 17-7 overall and 9-1 in the Mid-American Conference.
The win kept Akron one game ahead of Buffalo in the MAC East, but it didn’t come easy.
Akron trailed 58-53 before going on late a 6-0, capped by a Zeke Marshall that gave the Zips a 59-58 lead.
Trailing by one with six seconds left, Western Michigan’s Flenard Whitfield had two free throws with a chance to take the lead. He hit just one of two, however, sending the game into overtime.
The Zips took a two-point lead late in OT on a pair of Marshall free throws with 37 seconds left. WMU’s Mike Douglas missed a potential game-tying jumper, and Akron tacked on a free throw for the three-point margin.
It wasn’t a pretty game, as each team struggled mightily from the floor. Akron hit just 24 of 65 shots (36.9 percent), Western Michigan just 20-57 (35.1).
Next up for Akron is a pair of home games against MAC cellar-dwellers. First is a Saturday night contest with Northern Illinois, which is last place in the MAC West at 3-19 overall and 2-8 in conference. After that it’s a Wednesday matchup with Miami (Ohio), which is last place in the East with a 3-7 conference mark.
Akron squares off with second-place Buffalo on Feb. 29.
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