Zips defeat RedHawks

Isaiah Johnson led the Zips in rebounds Saturday night.

Isaiah Johnson led the Zips in rebounds Saturday night.

By Jacob Allen, Writer

The Akron Zips men’s basketball team defeated the Miami RedHawks 75-46 on Saturday night at Rhodes Arena. The win improved the Zips to 15-4 overall on the season and 4-2 in MAC conference play. Miami fell to 6-13 on the season and are still looking for their first MAC win after six games.

The game was the third annual “Purple Out” game, as the players and the majority of the 3,000 plus fans in attendance wore purple in honor of former Director of Basketball Operation Dan Peters, who passed away in 2014 after losing his battling pancreatic cancer.

Akron freshman Josh Williams led the way for the balanced Zips’ attack with 15 points, all resulting from his five 3-pointers. Both were career highs for the Akron native.

The Zips clearly tried to feed their big men against the RedHawks, who didn’t start a player over 6’7”. While that didn’t directly lead to many points from Akron centers Isaiah Johnson and Pat Forsythe, it opened up many opportunities from beyond the arc.

Coming into the game third in the country in 3-pointers made per game, the Zips made 14 of their 26 attempts from deep, and got them from six different players. Besides Williams’ five, Jake Kretzer made four, Noah Robotham buried two and Reggie McAdams, Antino Jackson and Aaron Jackson each made one from beyond the arc.

With the Zips leading 7-4 just over six minutes into the game, Josh Williams took over for three possessions, making 3-pointers all three times up the court to extend the Zips’ lead to 16-6.

Akron then ended the half on a 6-0 run in the last 1:20 of the period. Following Isaiah Johnson’s two made free throws, Reggie McAdams converted on an alley-oop layup, Pat Forsythe blocked a shot and Jake Kretzer finished a layup to give the Zips a 34-18 lead at the half.

All hopes for a Miami win were lost after the first official TV timeout of the second half. Following an Antino Jackson highlight reel lay up, the Zips made four straight 3-pointers, one from Aaron Jackson and three from Kretzer. The Zips led 52-28, and the game was never close after.

The Akron bench came alive in this game, producing the team’s top three scorers. Besides Williams’ 15, Kretzer scored 14 points and center Isaiah Johnson added 12. In fact, the bench outscored the entire Miami team 51-46.  

It was an off night offensively for Pat Forsythe and Kwan Cheatham Jr., as they only combined for four points. However, they made their presence felt by blocking three shots each defensively. Additionally, following a career night on Tuesday with 28 points against Eastern Michigan, senior Reggie McAdams finished with only five points, but grabbed four rebounds and had two steals.

Miami senior guard Geovonie McKnight had a game high 18 points, but the rest of the team had trouble with the purple haze that was the Zips’ defense. The RedHawks turned the ball over 14 times, and the nation’s number one ranked 3-point defense allowed just one of Miami’s ten attempts from deep.

The Zips are now 9-0 in games played at home, and will remain home on Tuesday when they host Northern Illinois. The Huskies are number one in the MAC at 16-3 while winning five of their six conference games. They are also number one in rebounding and scoring defense. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Rhodes Arena.