Men's basketball improves to 13-7 with win over Ball State

By: D.J. Johnson

Just as Keith Dambrot’s squad saw three days earlier, an overwhelming second half brought the Zips an impressive conference win Tuesday night.

Akron (13-7, 5-1 MAC) trailed once going into the locker room, but outscored Ball State (12-6, 4-2 MAC) by 15 in the second half to lead to the 70-58 victory.

A first half filled with turnovers had the Zips down 30-27 at the break, but a15-6 run to start the second half led Akron to their eighth straight win over the Cardinals. The matchup of the top two teams in each division of the MAC left the Zips with their 10th win in their last 12 games.

Brian Walsh’s career-high 16 points, all in the second half, tied for a team-high with Quincy Diggs.

Walsh knocked down 2-of-5 from three-point range and hit all eight of his free throw attempts, while Diggs went 5-of-7 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.

Joining the duo in double figures was point guard Alex Abreu (12 points) and forward Demetrius Treadwell (11 points).

After trailing 9-0 to start the game, the Zips relied on Abreu’s three-point shot to keep within striking distance in the first half. The sophomore cashed in 4-of-5 attempts from long distance in the first 20 minutes.

After Ball State created 12 Zips turnovers in the first half, Akron relied on a stingy defensive effort of their own in the second half to propel them to the win. The Cardinals were limited to 9-of-30 shooting (30.0 percent) in the final 20 minutes of the game.

Ball State’s Jarrod Jones finished the night with 25 points. Jones was almost impossible to stop in the first half, scoring 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Center Zeke Marshall’s defensive effort on Jones in the second half limited him to 2-of-7 shooting (eight points).

Marshall finished the game with five blocks while tying for a team-high five rebounds with Walsh and Nick Harney.

Akron once again got big contributions from their bench, who chipped in 30 of the 70 points on the night.

UA’s solid free throw shooting sealed the victory.

The Zips will hit the road again for their second straight MAC West matchup, as they travel to Central Michigan on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and online streaming will be available through MAC Sports.