Streak continues for men's basketball team

“By Vincent Dorsey vdorsey@buchtelite.com The University of Akron men’s basketball team extended its winning streak to five games as it defeated the Eastern Michigan Eagles, 78-41, Tuesday night at EMU’s Convocation Center. The win marked EMU’s largest margin of defeat at home since it began play in the Convocation Center 10 years ago.”

By Vincent Dorsey

vdorsey@buchtelite.com

The University of Akron men’s basketball team extended its winning streak to five games as it defeated the Eastern Michigan Eagles, 78-41, Tuesday night at EMU’s Convocation Center.

The win marked EMU’s largest margin of defeat at home since it began play in the Convocation Center 10 years ago. It was UA’s third-straight win against opponents from the Mid-American Conference’s West Division.

The Zips (14-8, 5-3 MAC) were led offensively by senior Nate Linhart and junior Darryl Roberts, who both scored a game-high 13 points. Linhart added a team-high seven rebounds.

UA limited the Eagles’ go-to player, Brandon Bowdry, to just 12 points. The sophomore forward was hampered with foul trouble for much of the game, which forced him to play only 16 minutes.

We did a good job of defending in the post, UA head coach Keith Dambrot said in a post-game interview on 1350 AM WARF. We went right at Brandon Bowdry and got him in foul trouble, which really changed the game.

Brothers Chris and Brett McKnight joined Linhart and Roberts in double figures, scoring 12 and 11, respectively.

It’s just typical Akron basketball, Linhart said of the team’s balanced scoring in a post-game interview on 1350 AM WARF. Everyone contributes, everyone fills in and that’s how we win.

Youth Movement

UA’s recent success can be linked to the improved play of the McKnight brothers, as well as increased scoring production by two of the team’s youngest players.

The McKnights have recently teamed up to give the team the inside presence it has been looking for throughout the season. Coming into the game against the Eagles, Chris had averaged 11.6 points and 6.4 rebounds in his last five games as a starter. Brett came into the contest second on the team in scoring at 10.9 points-per-game.

The biggest reason we’re better is that the McKnights have made a jump, Dambrot said after UA’s home win against Central Michigan on Jan 31.

Freshman forward Nikola Cvetinovic and freshman guard Brett McClanahan have jump-started a once-struggling offense. Cvetinovic has started in each of the team’s last five games and scored a career-high 11 points in the team’s win at Toledo last week.

He’s one of the best freshmen I’ve had at that position, Dambrot said of Cvetinovic. That includes Romeo (Travis), (Jeremiah) Wood and those guys.

Since seeing his first collegiate action just seven games ago, McClanahan has bolstered the Zips’ perimeter shooting. In his fifth game in a UA uniform, the 6-foot-4 guard hit three 3-pointers to thwart a Toledo comeback-attempt.

The Zips will return home Sunday to begin a two-game homestand with a game against Western Michigan. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. at Rhodes Arena.

Call senior sports writer

Vincent Dorsey: 330-972-7395.

To comment on this story, go to:

https://www.buchtelite.com