“The University of Akron’s men’s basketball team came out with a strong first half and an all together team effort to defeat the Bowling Green Falcons 74-68. The Falcons (14-14 6-9 MAC) outscored the Zips (22-8 12-3 MAC) 41-34 in the second half, but the Zips still came away with a big road win.””
The University of Akron’s men’s basketball team came out with a strong first half and an all together team effort to defeat the Bowling Green Falcons 74-68.
The Falcons (14-14 6-9 MAC) outscored the Zips (22-8 12-3 MAC) 41-34 in the second half, but the Zips still came away with a big road win.
Akron’s win, along with Kent State’s win over Miami Saturday night, means that the showdown between the Zips and Flashes March 5 will determine the number one seed in the MAC tournament and crown the regular season MAC champion.
I was a little disappointed defensively, but there was so little flow to the second half, UA head coach Keith Dambrot said in his post game interview on FOX Sports 1350 AM. I thought we got a little tentative defensively because every time we played the whistle blew. That’s not to say there weren’t fouls, it’s just one of those games where we really couldn’t get at it very hard because we kept fouling.
Akron was able to jump out on top early, putting them in a good position for the rest of the game.
I thought the first half we had really good flow, Dambrot said. We ran the ball better than we had. We didn’t have much trouble with the zone.
A three-point shot by forward Brett McClanahan, made with only two seconds left in the first half, proved to be an important shot for the Zips.
McClanahan finished 3-3 from behind the arc, giving him nine points for the game.
We’ve been talking to Brett (McClanahan) in the past week about how badly we need him because without him we lack a little pop at times from the outside, Dambrot said. If you look back at his career here, every time that he’s shot the ball well we’ve won.
Going into the second half, the Falcons found a way to get back into the game.
Bowling Green got to the charity stripe 17 times in the second half, although they only made 11 of their many shots.
Coming down the stretch, the Falcons pulled the game within four points multiple times.
Forward Chris McKnight went four for four from the line in the closing 30 seconds of the game to give the Zips the definite win.
That’s good coaching, Dambrot joked.
Despite scoring 74 points, Akron only accumulated two double-digit scorers for the game.
Forward Brett McKnight led the team with 15 and forward Jimmy Conyers followed with 12.
Leading the way for the Falcons was 285-pound Otis Polk who rallied for 17 points.
I think Otis Polk manhandled us a little bit and Zeke (Marshall) really fouled so much that we couldn’t get anybody big on him, Dambrot said.
Marshall did not play much because of foul trouble, collecting only 11 minutes.
Bowling Green also had three other players that racked up double-digits: forward Scott Thomas (16), guard Dee Brown (12) and forward Erik Marschall (10).
The Zips will host the final game of the regular season Friday at Rhodes Arena against rival Kent State.
We’ve done a terrific job at putting ourselves in a position to win the league, Dambrot said. What we have to do now is enjoy the ride and relax and play.
A win for the Zips will give them the MAC crown and the number one seed in the MAC tournament.
The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 with tip off set for 8 p.m.