AKRON, OHIO – The Akron Zips went back to a tried and true formula Saturday night at Rhodes Arena -- tough defense complimented with solid 3-point shooting. The result was a 75-46 rout of reeling Miami.
The win allowed Akron (15-4, 4-2 MAC) to remain undefeated at home with a 9-0 mark. The Zips remain in second place in the Mid-American Conference Eastern Division -- one game behind Kent State, who . . .
“This was Akron Basketball.” Zips head coach Keith Dambrot said. “We have been working hard on the defensive end. We finally showed signs we are a good defensive team”
UA’s top three scorers came off the bench, led by freshman Josh Williams with a career high 15 points, going five-of-seven from three-point range. Senior Jake Kretzer had 14 points, while junior Isiah Johnson had 12 with five rebounds and two assists.
“It helps when the ball goes into the basket, but also we did a good job sharing the ball as well we have all season.” Dambrot said.
Miami (6-13, 0-6 MAC) dropped its ninth consecutive game and remained winless on the road so far this season. The 'Hawks, in fact, have not tasted any victory since Dec 15 when they defeated Jackson State.
Senior Geovanie McKnight was the lone MU player in double figures. He led all scorers in the contest with 18 points, four assists, a steal and a blocked shot.
The Zips quickly pounced on Miami, scoring the game’s first five points with the help of four Redhawk turnovers. Akron then distanced itself the visitors with an 11-2 run midway through the opening half. Nine of those points were scored by Williams, who hit three 3-pointers on consecutive possessions all from the left side of the arc making the score 16-6 at the 12:08 mark.
The closest Miami would get for the rest of the game was six points at 20-14 on a driving layup by McKnight at 4:27. UA finished the opening 20 minutes outscoring the Hawks 14-4, opening its largest lead, 34-18, at halftime.
It was more of the same in the second half, as the home team ended any doubt of the outcome with a second 11-2 spurt. Akron led 46-24 lead at the 13:27 mark on a three from the right arc from sophomore Aaron Jackson.
On the evening, UA connected on 14-of-26 shots from beyond the arc. In addition, the Zips have made at least seven three-pointers in every game so far this season.
The Zips biggest lead of the game was 34 points at 73-41 at the 2:37 mark when Williams scored his final points of the game on a three from the right arc. The victory ended a three-game losing streak to the RedHawks. A team that has been a thorn in the side of the Zips during Dambrot’s tenure at the school.
Among the keys to the game:
-- The Zips defense held senior Eric Washington in check. Coming into the game,. Washington led MU in scoring averaging 15.6 points per game. He finished the contest with just three. It was his lowest total of the season and broke a string of 15 games in double figures. He did pull down six rebounds.
-- The Zips shot 57.7 percent from the field in the second half, going 8-of-13 from beyond the arc.
-- UA got 51 points from the bench while committing just eight turnovers.
-- The Zips 46 points allowed was the fewest against any Division I opponent so far this season.
Both teams are back in action on Tuesday, with the Zips hosting Western Division leading Northern Illinois, while Miami returns home to Oxford to host Central Michigan.