Akron has now won four straight games, improving to 17-4 overall and 6-2 in MAC play, while BSU fell to 13-8 and 4-4 in league play.
The Zips lead by 11 points by halftime, 39-28. However, the Cardinals battled back in the second half to pull within three points, 56-53, at the 9:32 mark. UA then . . .
Junior center Isaiah Johnson started the run by splitting a pair of free throws on consecutive trips down the floor. After Akron secured a third defensive rebound, Johnson was fouled again while driving through the lane. This time he made the shot and converted the 3-point play.
Senior Jake Kretzer and sophomore Noah Robotham followed with back-to-back triples while sophomore Antino Jackson capped the scoring outburst with a drive down the lane.
With 1:44 left to play, BSU finally found the bottom of the net when Sean Sellers buried a long range jumper. Akron answered at the opposite end of the floor as senior Pat Forsythe used a strong post move for a bucket.
The Cardinals connected from long distance on back-to-back possessions, but the Zips' lead was too much to overcome as Kretzer buried two free throws to put the game away.
The Zips distributed the basketball evenly, accumulating 18 assists while draining 26 field goals on 50 attempts. Akron went 10-of-24 from downtown for a 41.7 percent effort. Meanwhile, BSU also had the hot hand, shooting 24-of-49 from the field (.510), including a 12-of-25 effort from deep (.480).
The difference in the game appeared to be on the defensive side of the ball and at the free throw line. Akron caused 18 turnovers and collected 10 steals while cashing in on 11-of-15 from the charity stripe. The Cardinals connected with 2-of-5 bonus buckets and had seven steals on 15 UA turnovers.
The Zips won the battle of the boards 29-22.
Akron had three players score in double figures, led by senior Reggie McAdams. McAdams poured in 15 points on 50-percent shooting from all areas of the floor. He was 6-of-9 from the field and 3-of-6 from beyond the 3-point arc while grabbing career-high eight rebounds.
Jackson followed with 14 points, including a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe, while Johnson recorded 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
Ball State registered two plays in double figures. Senior forward Bo Calhoun led the way with 19 points, followed by sophomore guard Jeremie Tyler at 18.
Akron is at Ohio (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET)
Ball State is at Bowling Green (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET)
(Courtesy of UA Athletics)