Balanced effort leads Zips to road win against Ball State

Antino Jackson made four of his nine shots, including two 3-pointers, for a total of 14 points on Saturday  afternoon.

Antino Jackson made four of his nine shots, including two 3-pointers, for a total of 14 points on Saturday afternoon.

By Jacob Allen, Writer

The University of Akron men’s basketball team went on the road and beat Ball State 73-64 on Saturday, as seven Zips’ players scored at least seven points.

Senior Reggie McAdams led the way for Akron with 15 points while hauling in a career-high eight rebounds. While the MAC’s leader in 3-pointers made three more from beyond the arc on the day, it was his season-high three field goals from inside the arc that caught the most attention.

With a one point lead with 4:30 to go in the first half, McAdams grabbed an offensive rebound and put it right back to extend the lead. On the following possession McAdams drained a deep 3-pointer off a beautiful pass from big man Isaiah Johnson. This sparked a 14-4 run that gave the Zips a 39-28 lead at halftime.

The Cardinals fought back in the second half, as they brought the game to within three points with a 7-3 run halfway through the half. After a Francis Kiapway 3-pointer and a Trey Moses jumper, Jeremie Tyler took a Franko House steal all the way for a layup to make the score 56-53 with 9:32 left in the game. Tyler, a sophomore from Indianapolis, Indiana, had a game-high 18 points and made four 3-pointers .

The Zips defense stood strong after that though, as Ball State was held scoreless for the next 7:48 of play as Akron pulled ahead to a 69-53 lead. During the 13-0 run Isaiah Johnson put home a layup and three free throws while Jake Kretzer and Noah Robotham both made 3-pointers and Antino Jackson made a mid-range jumper.

Jackson played another good game for the Zips. He made four of his nine shots, including two 3-pointers, for a total of 14 points. Jackson made all four of his free throws as well. The Zips leading scorer Isaiah Johnson came off the bench and dominated once again, scoring 13 points along with four rebounds and one block.

With senior center Pat Forsythe in heavy foul trouble, Johnson saw heavy minutes in the first half. After Forsythe picked up his second foul of the game with 9:42 to play in the first half, Johnson entered and played the remainder of the half. The 290-pound Cincinnati native would not seem to tire, however. Johnson made the last six points of the half for Akron, two of which were assisted by guard Noah Robotham.

Robotham had another strong outing as well. Robotham scored eight points with two 3-pointers while dishing out seven assists to go with two steals. The Las Vegas native also led Akron by playing 34 minutes in the ball game. Robotham now has had at least eight points, two 3-pointers and four assists in each of his last four games.

Senior Jake Kretzer had a very balanced game as well, scoring eight points with three rebounds, three assist, two steals, and two 3-pointers. Akron made ten more 3-pointers on the day, and are 5th in the country in shots made from deep.

Despite being in foul trouble seemingly all game, senior Pat Forsythe recorded seven points to go with two rebounds, two steals, and one block. Despite playing through injuries all season, Forsythe has blocked at least one shot in all but three games for the Zips and leads the team with 1.5 blocks per game.

Finally, Kwan Cheatham scored seven points with three rebounds and two blocks after he scored 18 points to lead the Zips against Northern Illinois last Tuesday.

The win improved the Zips to 17-4 overall and 6-2 in the Mid-American Conference while Ball State fell to 13-8 and 4-4 in conference play. With Kent State’s loss to Ohio on Friday, the Zips are now tied for first in the MAC. Akron is now 2-2 on the road against teams from the MAC after losing to Central Michigan and Toledo earlier in the month.

The Zips will travel to Athens on Tuesday to play the Ohio Bobcats (13-7, 4-4) while the Cardinals will head to Bowling Green to face off against the Falcons.