Kwan Cheatham, Jr., led all Akron players with 15 points to go with five rebounds and two blocked shots. Pat Forsythe followed with 14 points, two rebounds and four blocked shots. Jake Kretzer helped out with 13 points and five rebounds.
The Zips, leading by 21 at the half, used the outside shot to their advantage to improve to 4-0 at home this season.
Akron (6-2) closed the game shooting 43.6 percent from the floor (24-of-55) and 39.4 percent from long range (13-of-33). The Zips out-rebounded WIU 38-30.
Garret Covington led the scoring with 12 points for Western Illinois (2-4).
The Akron defense did not allow a basket for the first three and a half minutes until Jabari Sandifer drove and scored the Fighting Leathernecks first basket (16:31).
Cheatham continued his success from the field, hitting his second 3-pointer of the game at 9:30, increasing the Zips lead to 14 points.
WIU made a late first-half run, outscoring Akron 8-3 in the last three minutes of the half. However, Kretzer hit a 3-pointer just before the half to give Akron a 39-18 lead at the intermission.
Akron was able to find numerous open looks from beyond the arc as the Zips shot 50.0 percent from deep in the first half (8-of-16).
Cheatham connected on the Zips 11th 3-pointer of the game and Akron opened up the second half on a 11-3 scoring run, extending its lead to 29 (50-21) with 15:38 to go.
Akron would lead by as many as 33 points at one point in the second half (57-23), before winning by the final score of 73-49.
The Zips conclude their four-game home stand on Saturday when the Zips play host to Middle Tennessee. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. ET.
(Courtesy of UA Athletics/MRO Edit)