Akron's Nyles Evans (3) tries to get around Kent State's Chris Ortiz, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the third round of the Mid-American Conference tournament Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak
Tony Dejak
March 13, 2015

CLEVELAND (AP) Pat Forsythe scored 12 points and Deji Ibitayo scored the game-winning free throw as seventh-seeded Akron rallied to beat Kent State 53-51 on Thursday to advance to face second-seeded Buffalo in a Mid-American Conference tournament semifinal Friday.

Antino Jackson scored 11 points and Isiah Johnson added 10 and blocked three shots for the Zips (21-13).

Akron trailed the third-seeded Golden Flashes 27-19 at halftime Thursday night after shooting 24.1 percent.

Ibitayo tied it at 39 in the second half on two free throws then Forsythe scored five straight points to put Akron up 44-41. Kent State retook the lead 45-44 on a jumper by Derek Jackson. Reggie McAdams hit a 3, then Ibitayo made two free throws and Akron retook the lead 52-51 with 39 seconds left. Nyles Evans iced it with a free throw.

Jimmy Hall led Kent State (22-10) with 14 points and Jackson added 12.

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