Forsythe finished with a career-high in points (15) and rebounds (9), to go with two blocked shots. Cheatham also posted career-highs in points (15) and rebounds (7), in addition to two assists, one blocked shot and one steal. Noah Robotham added 14 points.
As a team, the Zips shot 40.0 percent from the field (24-of-60) and 29.6 percent from long range (8-of-27). Akron recorded 14 assists to just 12 turnovers, and won the battle of the boards, 41-39.
USC (1-2) shot just 28.3 percent from the floor (15-of-53) and 16.7 percent from behind the arc (2-of-12). Nikola Jovanovic led the Trojans with 11 points.
Robotham's three-point play courtesy of a fast-break pass from Antino Jackson capped off an 8-0 Akron run, forcing the Trojans to burn a time out with 13:36 left in the first half. Robotham's “and-1” gave the Zips an 18-9 lead.
Akron would keep the pressure on USC, leading by 10 points (30-20) at the final media timeout. The Zip' lead reached 14 (36-22) in the final seconds of the half before Akron headed to the locker room up 36-24.
Robotham led all scorers in the period with 11 points. Cheatham finished the first 20 minutes with 10 points, three rebounds and one assist.
The Zips pushed their advantage to 43-28 just 3:25 into the second half. Deji Ibitayo's thunderous dunk with 14:49 forced USC to call its first timeout of the second half with the Zips leading 45-30 (14:50).
After Robotham went to the bench with his fourth foul of the game (14:13), USC put together a short 6-0 spurt to force the Zips to call timeout. Akron led 47-36 with 11:36 to go.
The Trojans' run reached 10-0 to cut the Akron advantage to 47-40 with 10:00 left. However, Antino Jackson put together an 8-0 run of his own, including back-to-back 3-pointers, to give the Zips a 55-40 lead at the under-8 media timeout (6:15).
The Zips' lead grew to as many as 21 (65-44) with 1:06 to go and UA cruised to the 66-46 win.
Akron returns to action on Friday when it faces Miami (Fla.). Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m. ET and the game will air live on ESPN2 or ESPNU.
(Courtesy of UA Athletics/MRO Edit)