“Following a bounce back win against Northern Illinois, the University of Akron’s men’s basketball team continued their winning ways against Ball State Feb. 6. The Zips (17-7 7-3 MAC) could not get it done in regulation, but instead knocked off the Cardinals (12-10 6-4 MAC) 75-70 in overtime.””
Following a bounce back win against Northern Illinois, the University of Akron’s men’s basketball team continued their winning ways against Ball State Feb. 6.
The Zips (17-7 7-3 MAC) could not get it done in regulation, but instead knocked off the Cardinals (12-10 6-4 MAC) 75-70 in overtime.
They are a very good defensive team, UA head coach Keith Dambrot said in his postgame interview on FSN Ohio. He [Ball State head coach Billy Taylor] has done a wonderful job with his team in a very short time period. They played very competitively last year and they are even more competitive this year.
Akron had a chance to win the game in regulation when they possessed the ball with only seconds to go.
Guard Humpty Hitchens drove to the basket for a layup and missed. Forward Chris McKnight rebounded the ball and rushed a shot, missing it, sending the game into overtime.
We had two good looks, Dambrot said. Humpty had a good look then Chris kind of botched that one up. But, you know what? We showed that even though it was deflating that we could come back and win.
In overtime, forward Brett McKnight hit a crucial three pointer with 1:14 to go.
The shot gave the Zips the upper hand and the ability to finish off the win.
We let it get away from us at the beginning of the second half, Dambrot said. We knew it was going to be a grind game. They are very physical, very strong. We had our hands full in there with them and we were just fortunate in the end, we made a couple baskets.
Akron finished with four players in double-digits.
Hitchens led all scorers with 17. Forward Nikola Cvetinovic (15), Brett McKnight (12) and Jimmy Conyers (12) rounded out the double-digit scorers.
We went back and forth; it was a great battle, Cvetinovic said. We’re not much better than anyone else, but we’re an experienced team. In the end, we need to play as champions, because we are the MAC Champions.
Cvetinovic also raked in 10 rebounds in the must-win game for the Zips.
Well he is a competitor, Dambrot said. He wants to win badly, he wants to do well. We need more guys like him going back to Mt. Pleasant, my old stomping grounds.
Ball State also had four players compiling double-digits throughout the game.
Forward Jarrod Jones led the team with 16 and forward Malik Perry (15), guard Randy Davis (15) and forward Terrence Watson (11) rounded out the double-digit scorers.
Akron finished the game 24-of-67 from the field for 35.8 percent. Surprisingly, Ball State went 28-of-58, giving them 48.3 percent from the field.
Akron will continue their play in the MAC West Division Tuesday night as they take on the Central Michigan Chippewas.
They are very experienced and they shoot the ball very well so it will be tough for us, Dambrot said.
Tip off is set for 7 p.m. in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.