Three pointers lead Zips domination of Bowling Green

Reggie McAdams led the Zips with 29 points against Bowling Green on Friday evening.

Reggie McAdams led the Zips with 29 points against Bowling Green on Friday evening.

By Jacob Allen, Writer

The University of Akron men’s basketball team made 19 3-pointers to help beat the Bowling Green Falcons, 89-54 on Friday night at Rhodes Arena. The win improved the Zips to 22-7 overall and 11-5 in the Mid-American Conference, while the Falcons fell to 14-15 and 5-11 in conference games.

Coming into the game, the Zips had lost three out of their last four games, all played on the road. But they returned home and continued their dominance, as they are now 13-0 at Rhodes Arena.

McAdams had the hot hand on Friday night, going 10-13 from the floor, including 7-10 from beyond the arc. McAdams also grabbed four rebounds and forced two steals. Junior forward Kwan Cheatham Jr. had another strong game for the Zips, scoring 16 points off 5-6 shooting, making all three of his 3-pointers and three out of four free throws.

Cheatham Jr. also had five rebounds, two assists, with one steal and one block on defense. Also, guard Antino Jackson scored ten points, dished out eight assists, had six rebounds, and recorded three steals.

The Zips’ 19 3-pointers were a season-high by three, and they had seven players make a 3-pointer in the game. Besides McAdams, Cheatham Jr., and Jackson, Noah Robotham made one 3-pointer for a total of seven points, Josh Williams went 3-8 from deep and finished with nine points, Jake Kretzer scored nine points on account of three treys, and even big man Isaiah Johnson connected from deep and finished with seven points. It was Johnson’s first 3-pointer made of the season.

Bowling Green was led by Zack Denny, who scored 16 points. Rasheed Worrell came off the bench to score eight points, Wes Alcegaire finished with seven points, and Demajeo Wiggins added six points. Ismail Ali led the Falcons with five assists while three players tied for the team lead in rebounds with four.

The game started with a rash of 3-pointer from both teams. Jackson started the game by missing from deep, and Denny came back to make one to get the scoring started. McAdams came right back with a trey, which was followed by two identical possessions; Jackson stole the ball from Ismail then assisted Cheatham Jr. for a three-pointer. Ismail then found Denny for another 3-pointer to get Bowling Green to within three points just over two minutes into the game.

That would be the closest the Falcons would get. Akron went on a 14-1 run after Denny’s basket to push the lead to 23-7. Later in the half, with the Zips leading 31-14, McAdams took over to extend the lead even more. McAdams made back-to-back 3’s, followed by a pair of free throws to give Akron a 39-14 lead with 7:57 left in the half.

The Zips went into halftime with a 52-26 lead after another McAdams 3-pointer with 41 seconds left.

If the Falcons had any hope of a comeback, it was crushed in the first 1:31 of the second half. Bowling Green missed two free throws, one field goal, and had two turnovers in the span, while the Zips got baskets from Robotham, Jackson, and a 3-pointer from McAdams to extend the lead to 59-26.

The blowout win allowed the Zips to use players that haven’t played much recently. They finished the game with Carlitos Anderson, Mark Noble, Aaron Jackson, and Jimond Ivey, alongside Josh Williams. Anderson and Noble hadn’t played since January 23rd, while the others received extended minutes.

Akron outplayed Bowling Green in nearly every category. The Zips shot six percent better from the field, made 14 more 3-pointers, and shot 80 percent from the foul line while the Falcons made just nine out of their 18 free throws. The Akron bench outscored Bowling Green 27-21 and had 29 points off turnovers compared to just 12 for the Falcons.

Also, the Zips outrebounded Bowling Green by ten, had 11 more assists, and turned the ball over six times less. The only positive for the Falcons was their 24 points in the paint, as the Zips only had 18.

Akron will finish out the regular season this week with two home games versus conference rivals Ohio and Kent State. First, they will get a rematch with Ohio on Tuesday at 8 p.m. The Zips upended the Bobcats in Athens on February 2nd, 80-68. Then, the Zips will look for revenge against the Golden Flashes on Friday at 7 p.m., after Kent State beat them 85-76 on February 19th in Kent.