Akron tops Ohio in double overtime thriller

“The University of Akron’s men’s basketball team overcame two comebacks by the Ohio Bobcats and escaped with a 91-88 win after two overtime periods. The Zips (19-7 9-3 MAC) are now tied with Kent State for first place in the MAC East Division. We played well, UA head coach Keith Dambrot said.”

The University of Akron’s men’s basketball team overcame two comebacks by the Ohio Bobcats and escaped with a 91-88 win after two overtime periods.

The Zips (19-7 9-3 MAC) are now tied with Kent State for first place in the MAC East Division.

We played well, UA head coach Keith Dambrot said. We thought we could hurt Ohio inside today. We expected a few more double downs, but they didn’t give us as many.

Forward Chris McKnight and forward Jimmy Conyers helped propel the Zips as they both obtained double-doubles during the game.

Chris McKnight’s double-double was the second of his career. He also grabbed an impressive 18 rebounds and scored 25 points for a career high.

Conyers contributed 20 points and 11 rebounds in his dominant performance.

Chris played with good energy, but I thought his brother [Brett McKnight] really rallied himself in the overtime and scored when it mattered too, which I thought was key, Dambrot said.

Brett McKnight had 14 points of his own including a few crucial knock-downs in the overtime periods.

The team’s playing seemed to propel them and give them multiple chances to win at the end of regulation and the first overtime.

We had opportunities to win the game really, poetically, and we should have won in the first overtime, but we made a mistake defensively, Dambrot said. We told our guys to make sure they got way out and make Ohio slip to make them shoot a 2-pointer, but we did not.

With 58 seconds left in the first overtime period, center Zeke Marshall fouled out of the game.

I thought one of the keys was not having Zeke in the game because then the game was a little harder to score, Dambrot said. I thought he got tired a little bit more in the second half when we really need him on those dribble-drives to gobble them up on the defensive end.

He just fouled so it was hard to do and he’s got to rebound the ball better which I thought was a weak spot for him today.

Despite the fact that Marshall fouled out, Dambrot is still confident that he has room to improve.

He’s going to get better and like I told many people, when we play in the NCAA Tournament, he’s going to be a big factor because he allows you to guard against the big boys.

Akron finished the second overtime period with an advantage in points of 11-8.

A five point advantage was held for Akron with 3 minutes and 38 seconds to go, but Ohio rallied back to bring the game within one point.

Good free throw shooting at the end of the game gave the Zips the edge they needed to win.

Akron finished the game shooting 44.4 percent from the field and a minimal 23.5 percent from behind the arc.

The Zips who are on a four game winning streak will next travel to Oxford, Ohio on Wednesday to take on the Miami Redhawks.

The Redhawks currently stand at (11-14 8-4 MAC) and are coming off of a 67-64 loss to the Bowling Green Falcons.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.