Castaneda's 31 leads Akron over Buffalo in MAC quarterfinals
CLEVELAND — Xavier Castaneda scored 31 points and Enrique Freeman added 19, leading Akron to a 101-77 win over Buffalo in the quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Thursday night.
The third-seeded Zips (22-10) advanced to face rival and second-seeded Kent State in Friday's semifinals. Akron and Kent State (26-6) split their regular-season matchups with the Golden Flashes winning 89-84 in overtime at home last week.
Top-seeded Toledo (26-6) will face Ohio (19-13) in the other semifinal with the winners meeting in Saturday's title game for the MAC's automatic NCAA bid.
Castaneda made five 3-pointers — three in a span of 2:23 — in the second half to help the Zips pull away. Castaneda's 3-pointer with 9:06 left put Akron up 78-48.
Yazid Powell scored 25 and LaQuill Hardnett added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the sixth-seeded Bulls (15-17).
Castaneda scored 14 points in the first half, helping Akron build an 18-point lead.