Winning streak continues

D.J. Johnson

After a gritty 54-50 win over the Miami RedHawks on Saturday afternoon, the Zips 15 consecutive wins is not only their longest in over 50 years but the longest active streak in the nation.

The victory over Miami was not pretty by any stretch of the imagination, at least by head coach Keith Dambrot’s standards, but his team now has the first 10-0 start in Mid-American Conference play since the RedHawks did it in 1983-84.

The Zips were forced to battle back in the second half of Saturday’s game, after shooting just 24 percent (6-of-25) in the first half. The poor performance had Akron trailing 25-16.

It would take the Zips all the way to the 7:55 mark of the second half to gain the lead, and a Brian Walsh 3-pointer with 4:19 to go to sustain it.

Walsh and forward Demetrius Treadwell led the team with 13 points apiece.

Sitting at 19-4, the Zips are on the verge of being ranked in the AP top 25, reaching their eighth consecutive 20-win season and securing a berth all the way to the semifinals of the MAC tournament.

Seven games remain in the Zips regular season, six in conference, with Eastern Michigan (11-12, 4-5 MAC) looming on Wednesday.

The matchup pits the top two defenses in the league, as the Zips allowing 62 points per game trails only the Eagles (59.6 ppg).

EMU has yet to find a way to match their stingy defense with a proficient offense.

At 57.3 points per game the Eagles rank second to last in the conference in scoring. The Zips sit in first at 74.1 points per game.

The Zips will try to avoid a slow start, as they have trailed in the second half in three of their last five games. Those three teams have a combined record of 26-43.

Wednesday’s game will be Akron’s second consecutive road game, before the return home.