The Zips, trailing by as many as 10 points in the second half, rallied over the final eight minutes to win their 13th-straight over the Falcons (13-6, 5-3 MAC).
Pat Forsythe led all players with a career-high 20 points to go with six boards, two assists and one blocked shot. Gladden added 11 points, including the game winner, to go with four rebounds.
Richaun Holmes tallied 11 points with seven rebounds to lead BGSU, with Anthony Henderson (10) also reaching double figures. Spencer Parker and David Joseph chipped in nine points apiece.
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Bowling Green opened the game by scoring on its first two possessions and held a 13-8 advantage at the under-12 media timeout (11:50).
Akron kept the game close at the free throw line – making six-straight freebies – as the Zips went nearly nine minutes without a field goal. A Zack Denny 3-pointer with 7:05 to go gave the Falcons their largest lead at the half (24-12). Two possessions later, the Zips called their first timeout of the game after BGSU took a 26-12 lead (5:56).
The Zips would answer after the time out, going on a 10-0 run to close the gap to 26-22 with 3:15 left before intermission. BGSU then called its first time out looking to end the run.
A second-straight 3-pointer by Kwan Cheatham, Jr., made it a one-point game (26-25) heading into the final media stoppage of the half.
Akron pushed the run to 17-3 over the final 5:49 to send the teams to the locker room tied at 29-29. The Zips shot 44.4 percent from the floor (8-of-18) over the final 9:53 of the half after opening the game shooting just 22.2 percent (2-of-9).
After BGSU opened a four-point lead to start the second half, Antino Jackson's 3-pointer tied the game at 33-all with 17:18 to go. BGSU answered with a 3-pointer of its own to regain a three-point advantage.
The Falcons pushed their lead to five points on several occasions prior to the under-12 media timeout, eventually taking a 44-36 with 11:34 left in the game. Back-to-back buckets by the Zips cut the lead to 44-41 less than a minute later.
BGSU used an 8-1 run to open a 10-point advantage (52-42) with 8:34 to go, forcing the Zips to call their first timeout of the second half. A Cheatham 3-pointer with 7:32 to go cut the deficit to 53-47.
Anthony Henderson gave BGSU a 57-50 lead on the Falcons' next possession on a 3-pointer and a free throw after Cheatham fouled him on the shot.
The Zips began to chip away at the deficit, with Forsythe's hook shot cutting the BGSU lead to 59-57 with 4:08 to go. On Akron's next possession, Gladden tied the game at 60-all with 3:43 remaining. Forsythe then gave the Zips a two-point edge (62-60) at the line. It was Akron's first lead of the game and came with 3:15 on the clock.
The lead was short-lived as the Falcons made four-straight free throws to regain a 64-62 advantage (1:59). Following a BGSU layup, Noah Robotham hit a 3-pointer with 48.8 left to make it a one-point Falcon lead (66-65).
A Robotham jumper on the base line gave Akron a 67-66 lead with 25 seconds left, but Evans was called for a foul on the defensive end. The Falcons converted at the line for a 68-67 edge.
Gladden gave Akron a 69-68 lead with 3.4 seconds left after the Robotham miss, setting up the Falcons' final play. Holmes' 3-pointer at the buzzer fell short.
The Zips will conclude their two-game road trip on Wednesday, Feb. 4 at Ohio. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. ET
Bowling Green travels to Central Michigan Wednesday (7 p.m. ET).