Men's basketball fall in season opener to Austin Peay


“The University of Akron’s men’s basketball team fell to Austin Peay 80-77 in their home opener Sunday afternoon. Akron gave up a 15 point lead with 7:36 remaining as Austin Peay rallied for 17 consecutive points. First off, when you’re up 15 points with 7:36 to play, you should win the game, UA head coach Keith Dambrot said.”

The University of Akron’s men’s basketball team fell to Austin Peay 80-77 in their home opener Sunday afternoon.

Akron gave up a 15 point lead with 7:36 remaining as Austin Peay rallied for 17 consecutive points.

First off, when you’re up 15 points with 7:36 to play, you should win the game, UA head coach Keith Dambrot said. We can say whatever, we can blame the players or me but I thought today we did a very poor job of handling prosperity first and adversity second.

The starting five for the game were forward Brett McClanahan, guard Darryl Roberts, forward Nikola Cvetinovic, forward Tim Carroll and forward Chris McKnight.

A starting five has not yet been set by Dambrot and some question why Marshall is not starting.

I asked every coach the same question and none of us had the final answer, Dambrot said. I know Zeke (Marshall) has to play, even if he’s not great, he needs to play if we’re going to take the next step. He’s going to do some good things.

In coach Dambrot’s time at Akron, he has seen a few teams give away games in the closing minutes.

It comes down to developing a willingness to win. We have to have a better sense of willingness to win, handle adversity and prosperity.

Although the Zips did not win the game, Dambrot was understanding in letting the team know about the need to finish games.

I didn’t yell at them, I just basically told them we need to play better, Dambrot said. We can’t go 0-for-4 at the line at the end of games, we can’t give up three’s late in the clock or layups late in the clock.

We had nobody that made a play when it mattered. Not one play that mattered in the last five minutes of the game and we had the ball right in front of the rim.

The loss of Nate Linhart last year may be a big hole in the Zips defense this year.

The defensive hole will hopefully be accounted for in top recruit Zeke Marshall.

Marshall had an impressive regular season debut, but it was not enough to propel the Zips past the Governors.

Marshall accounted for 10 points and a game high 12 rebounds in the loss.

Three other members of the Zips basketball team had double figure points in guard Steve McNees who had 14, guard Humpty Hitchens with 12 and forward Chris McKnight who tallied 11.

The Zips will next travel to Daytona Beach to take part in the second portion of the Glenn Wilkes Classic.

On Friday Akron will play NC State at 3:30 p.m.

Akron will turn around and play a tough Drake team on Saturday at 1:15 p.m.

The Classic will be wrapped up Sunday as Akron takes on Howard at 11 a.m.

Akron will not return home until they play Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Friday Nov. 27.

Game time for that match is 7 p.m.

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