Forsythe contributed 12 points in the final stanza while battling for eight rebounds. The Herd had no answer for the big man as he made play after play when the Zips needed it. Forsythe added two blocked shots and two steals with an assist. Senior wing Reggie McAdams added 11 points, including eight-straight points to keep the Zips ahead by double-digits.
"Marshall is a very dangerous team," head coach Keith Dambrot said. "They play like a pro team and spread you out, and they have two guys who could start on any team in our league. We just couldn't shake them, and we had opportunities. When the game got tight, we finally made some shots and that was probably the key to the game."
The Herd opened the second half with a 12-4 run to tie the game at 34-34 by the 16:36 mark. The Zips immediately regained the lead on a strong post move by junior center Isaiah Johnson. He followed with a 3-point play to put the Zips ahead 39-34.
The two teams traded buckets over the next four minutes until the Herd capitalized on back-to-back possessions to tie the game at 45 apiece. At 9:12, sophomore guard Antino Jackson knocked down a triple to break the stalemate, and the Zips followed with six unanswered points, ending with a 3-pointer by Kretzer, 54-45.
The Herd cut the lead to seven when McAdams buried a triple followed by a pair of free throws from Robotham to push the lead to 12 points with 5:12 remaining. Marshall attempted another scoring burst, however McAdams shut it down with eight consecutive points -- two triples and a pair of free throws. The Zips finished the game with six-straight free throws – two each from Robotham, Antino Jackson and freshman guard Josh Williams.
Four Zips notched double figures in scoring, led by Forsythe's 20 points. Forsythe was 10-of-15 (.667) from the floor while McAdams followed with 14 points with all the shots coming from deep. He registered a 4-of-7 effort from downtown and added a 2-of-3 (.667) showing from the charity stripe. Sophomore guard Noah Robotham and Johnson rounded out the double-digit performers with 12 and 10, respectively. Johnson added eight rebounds, while senior wing Jake Kretzer and junior forward Kwan Cheatham finished with eight boards apiece, causing a four-way tie for the team lead.
In the first half, Akron's disruptive defense limited the Herd to 8-of-26 (.308) shooting from the floor and 1-of-12 (.083) from 3-point range. The Zips controlled the boards 26-19 while swiping five steals. In addition, Akron held Marshall scoreless for seven minutes while taking a 28-22 lead into the locker room.
For the game, Akron won nearly every statistical category. The Zips offense finished shooting 41.5 percent (27-of-65) from the floor, including a 34.6 percent (9-of-26) effort from deep and a 75 percent (12-of-16) performance from the free throw line. On the glass, Akron outrebounded the Herd 49-33. The Zips defense caused 12 turnovers with a seven steals. The Zips committed 19 turnovers and had one less blocked shot, finishing with three.
James Kelly and Stevie Browning led the Herd's offense with 18 points each. Ryan Taylor followed with 17 points, while the team finished shooting at a 40 percent (24-of-60) clip from the field and 20 percent (5-of-25) from deep.
The Zips play host to Bethune-Cookman on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. at James A. Rhodes Arena.
(Courtesy of Akron Athletics)