The University of Akron men’s basketball team won the Savannah Invitational on Saturday after wins over Air Force and Mercer University.
The Zips improved their record to 5-1 on the season with the wins. The team has now won five straight games after falling to Youngstown State in the season opener on Nov. 12.
First, the Zips beat Air Force on Friday night, 84-75. Center Isaiah Johnson led the Zips with 19 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Johnson went 7-10 from the floor and 5-8 from the foul line.
Also, Josh Williams made four of nine 3-pointers to total 16 points, while also grabbing six rebounds. Guard Antino Jackson went just 1-6 from deep, but made 8-12 free throws to total 15 points. He also grabbed five rebounds and had two steals. Finally, Kwan Cheatham and Aaron Jackson scored seven points and Noah Robotham and Daniel Utomi added six points each.
Air Force was led by center Frank Toohey, guard Jacob Van, and forward Hayden Graham. Toohey and Van scored 17 points each, while Graham added 16 points. Zach Kocur added six points and led the team with six rebounds.
Then on Saturday the Zips beat Mercer University in a very close game, 65-63. Once again, Isaiah Johnson led the Zips with 19 points, this time making seven of 11 shots from the floor and five of seven from the foul line. Johnson also had five rebounds, two assists, and one block. Johnson was named the tournament’s MVP for his efforts.
Antino Jackson also had another good game, scoring 14 points to go along with two rebounds and two assists. Jackson was named to the All-Tournament Team, along with Johnson.
Also for Akron, Kwan Cheatham had nine points and a team-high six rebounds and one steal. Noah Robotham scored six points off two 3-pointers, and Jimond Ivey led all bench players with five points, including one 3-pointer.
Mercer was led by Ria’n Holland’s 17 points and Desmond Ringer, who scored 16. Also, Demetre Rivers added 12 points for the Bears.
The 5-1 Zips will return home this Wednesday for a 7 p.m. battle with the Adrian College Bulldogs. The Bulldogs, who hail from Michigan, enter the contest with a 2-2 record, but are 0-2 on the road. The game will be the seventh of 13 non-conference games before the Zips start conference play on Jan. 3 against Bowling Green.