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The No. 23 Buffalo Bulls will visit the Akron Zips at James A. Rhodes Arena for the first of two matchups between the Mid-American Conference squads.
The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET. While it won’t be broadcast nationally on television anywhere in the US, you can still watch a live stream of the game on your computer, phone, or streaming device via ESPN+, the new digital streaming service from ESPN (no cable required) that has exclusive coverage to dozens of college basketball games — and several other sports — every week.
You can start a free seven-day trial of ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other compatible streaming device via the ESPN app.
If you can’t watch live, all games — including Buffalo vs Akron — that are streamed on ESPN+ are also available to be watched afterwards on-demand via ESPN.com or the ESPN app.
Buffalo vs Akron Preview
Both teams are coming off bounce-back victories.
The Bulls (20-3 overall, 8-2 in MAC play) rebounded from their third defeat of the season, a 92-88 loss at Bowling Green, with a resounding home victory over Central Michigan.
After surrendering 30-of-59 shooting (50.8 percent) to the Falcons, who turned the ball over just nine times, the Bulls held the Chippewas to 26-of-60 from the field (43.3 percent) and benefitted from 23 Central Michigan turnovers.
“Our team defense was much better than how we played at Bowling Green,” Bulls senior guard CJ Massinburg said, according to school newspaper The Spectrum. “At Bowling Green, we just wanted to focus on stopping our man but one thing that we have really been stressing this week that they’re scoring on the whole team, it’s all of our faults. Today, we had each other’s backs.”
The team’s leading scorer at 18.4 points per game, Massinburg was playing with an ailing shoulder. He didn’t score in the first half, missing all four attempts from the field, as the Bulls went down by as many as 18 points.
“It was definitely killing me,” Massinburg said, according to The Buffalo News. “When you know that you’re a guy that will lay your whole body out there for the team, and nothing is going your way. It definitely hurt me, but I just tried to stay positive through it and encourage my teammates.
“Thank God I was able to come back in the second half and be able to help my team.”
Massinburg scored 18 points in the second, shooting 6-of-7 from in the field in the period to guide his team to a 90-76 victory.
“CJ had to get comfortable playing with his shoulder, and not to make excuses, because I think Central came out really ready to go and they did a great job,” Bulls head coach Nate Oats said, per The Buffalo News. “But he didn’t have a point at the half, and you could tell he was just passing up shots and trying to pass the ball with his left hand instead of his right hand,”
“Once he realized he could play with it and saw that first three go in, in the second half, that kind of got him going.”
The Zips (14-9, 6-4) fell at Toledo 63-52 on February 5 before crushing Kent State 72-53 on Friday.
Akron shot 26-of-54 from the field (48.1 percent) and 10-of-24 from deep (41.7 percent). They held the MAC’s leading scorer, Kent State guard Jaylin Walker, to a season-low 10 points.
He went 4-of-19 overall and missed all 10 of his three-point attempts.
“I think he just struggled tonight,” Kent State coach Rob Senderoff said of of his senior, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. “You have to ask them what they did. I don’t know what they did except guard him, but a lot of teams have guarded him and he’s played better.”
Zips head coach John Groce told the paper his side was lucky Walker had an off night: “He missed some shots he would have normally made tonight. We were fortunate.”
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