HOUSTON (AP) - Isaiah Johnson scored 21 points and Noah Robotham made four free throws in the final 18 seconds to send Akron to a 78-75 victory over Houston on Wednesday night in a first-round NIT game, setting a school record with its 27th victory.
The seventh-seeded Zips (27-8), regular-season champs of the Mid-American Conference, will play the winner of BYU-UT Arlington in the second round.
Jimond Ivey added 10 points and three other Zips had nine each, including Robotham, who made all six of his free throws. A Johnson free throw broke the game's final tie with 38 seconds to go at 74-73, and then he intercepted a pass under Houston's basket forcing the Cougars to foul Robotham. Houston's Rob Gray Jr. made a layup in traffic before Robotham added his final free throws.
Gray finished with 24 points and Damyean Dotson, who hit the 1,000 career-points mark, scored 19 for the second-seeded Cougars (21-11), third-place finishers in the American Athletic Conference.
There were 16 lead changes and 15 ties with neither team leading by more than seven.