Zips shoot their way past Razorbacks, 88-80


Aaron Jackson (11) in action against Hiram.

By Terry Rabbitts, [email protected]

The University of Akron men’s basketball team had five players score in double figures and never trailed in the game as they defeated a Southeastern Conference team for the second time in as many seasons with its 88-80 victory over Arkansas on Wednesday night.

Antino Jackson scored a career-high 23 points and Reggie McAdams added 18 more as the Zips hit more than half of their shots for the game including 46.4 percent from three point land.

Jackson scored 13 of his points in the second half, including a crucial 3-point play that gave the Zips an 83-76 advantage late in the game.

Akron scored the first seven points of the game and 10 of the first 12, in cruising to a 37-29 lead at halftime. However, the Razorbacks (1-1) were not done fighting.

The Zips led 49-39 early in the second half, but back-to-back threes from the Razorbacks’ Anthlon Bell and Dusty Hannahs to cut the deficit to four.

Arkansas’ Trey Thomson then hit a layup to extend the run to 8-0 and close the lead to 49-47, but the Razorbacks could not take advantage of several opportunities to either tie or take the lead.

Jackson took matters into his own hands while Arkansas had stalled, scoring Akron’s next 8 straight points. Jake Kretzer then added a pair of free throws to cap a 10-2 run and put the Zips back up 59-49.

Arkansas put together one last run and narrowed the lead to 4 points at 78-74 after a 3-pointer by Bell, but they could not get any closer against the Zips, who finished 13 of 28 on 3-pointers and shot 50.9 percent (29 of 59) from the field.

The victory is the third in the last two seasons over a Power 5 conference team for the Zips (3-0), who also defeated USC and South Carolina last season.

Isaiah Johnson also chipped in 15 points, while Kwan Cheatham, Jr,’s 12 and Kretzer’s 11 rounded out the double figure scorers for Akron. Pat Forsythe led the team in rebounds with 9.

Bell led the Razorbacks with 23 points, while Moses Kingsley had 17 and Hannahs 16.

The loss ends a 25-game home winning streak against nonconference teams for Arkansas.

Next up for the Zips, a trip to Villanova to take on the Wildcats on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. as the 2015 NIT Season Tip-Off continues.