Akron (14-6, 5-2 MAC) struggled to shoot the ball in the first half, connecting on just 33.3 percent (9-of-27), but found its rhythm in the second half. The Zips shot 50.0 percent (14-of-28) from the field over the final 20 minutes.
Ball State (7-11, 2-5 MAC) also could not get anything going in the first stanza, shooting 30.8 percent (8-of-26) from the field. The Cardinals connected on 45.5 percent (10-of-22) in the second half.
Forsythe’s 17 points led all players. Deji Ibitayo added nine points, three rebounds and two steals. Aaron Jackson came off the bench to score seven points and grab three rebounds.
Bo Calhoun led the way for the Cardinals with a double-double (14 points,12 rebounds). Rocco Belcaster chipped in nine points.
(CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE . . . )
The Zips offensive struggles would continue, going 1-of-6 after making their first basket. Antino Jackson ended the scoring drought with Akron's first 3-pointer of the game to tie the game at seven. Akron was 0-of-5 from beyond the arc prior to the made basket.
Ball State extended its early lead to eight (15-7) with an 8-0 run after Sean Sellers made a 3-pointer for the Cardinals at the 9:17 mark.
The Zips then went cold again for two and a half minutes before Noah Robotham found Jake Kretzer for three to cut the Ball State lead to 20-15 with 5:14 to play in the first half.
Akron took its first lead of the ball game, 24-22, at the 2:00 mark of the first half courtesy of a left-handed hook shot by Forsythe.
After trailing for most of the first half the Zips headed into the locker room with the score knotted at 24.
After Ball State opened up the second half with two quick baskets, Akron went on a 9-0 scoring run to take a 33-28 lead. The Zips started to use their height advantage as their first six points of the second half came form inside the paint, courtesy of Forsythe and B.J. Gladden.
After finding some offensive rhythm UA extended its lead to nine (44-35) when Jackson hit his second 3-pointer of the game.
The Zips lead would not drop below eight points after the 12:12 mark and grew to as many as 15 over the final minutes.
Akron opens a two-game road trip on Saturday (7 p.m. ET) at Bowling Green. Ball State is at Miami 3:30 p.m. ET).
(Courtesy of UA Athletics/MRO edit)