Bracketbusted!: Zips fall to Oral Roberts

By: D.J. Johnson

The Zips kept pace with the Golden Eagles for almost all of the game, trimming the lead to just one midway through the second half, but never took the lead for any of the 40 minutes. The Zips fought back from an 11-point halftime deficit, but missed 9-of-10 from three-point range down the stretch, settling for the six-point loss.

Point guard Alex Abreu tied for a game-high 16 points, while adding four assists. Abreu matched ORU’s Dominique Moore, who is a clear candidate for the Summit Player of the Year, in the scoring column.

Nik Cvetinovic was the only other Zips to reach double figures, scoring 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

The Zips, who lead the MAC in three-point percentage (37.3 percent), struggled from behind the arc all afternoon, hitting only 5-of-22 attempts. A trio of normally reliable deep threats, Chauncey Gilliam, Brian Walsh and Brett McClanahan, finished the day combined 0-of-9 from three.

After UA cut the lead to four (60-56) with 2:56 remaining, a missed three by Gilliam and a pair of trey balls missed by Walsh had the Zips down 66-58 with just over a minute remaining. The eight-point deficit would prove to be too much to overcome, as clutch free throws down the stretch for Moore sealed the victory.

The loss leaves Akron with a 3-6 all-time record in BracketBuster matchups, as they are winless on the road (0-4).

The Zips will return to conference play on Wednesday when Bowling Green (14-12, 7-5 MAC) comes to the JAR. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.