The first MAC game was held two days before any other MAC game — and to be honest I kind of forgot about it until midway through the first half. Oh, I knew it was on: that's why I told Mr. Hickey to get his preview done by Wednesday night. But what a start. The Zips went down to Mississippi State and took down an SEC team, 68-58.
This wasn't a close game that they eked out. They were consistently up by multiple possessions for much of the second half, and one they never relented since 5:44 was left in the first half. And it didn't even look like Nikola Cvetinovic had a very good game: just eight points on seven shots and six rebounds. Well ... it seems that he just didn't have many chances to make a difference.
The point scoring came via Quincy Diggs, who finished with 19 total. And the team was just 2-for-10 from threes, which demonstrates just how well Akron played in all other facets. MSU shot 34.5 percent from the field and had 19 total turnovers. Not so good on your home court.
A bit more exposure was given to Zeke Marshall, who finished with 10 points and five blocks, but he did foul out. And that's going to be his bugaboo all year; he fouled out six times last season and averaged 6.0 fouls per 40.
But what a start! And I think we can attribute this mostly to what Keith Dambrot described about the Mississippi State depth: "With their limited bench, it really affected their juice level." Orange juice, grape juice, even pomegranate juice — it seems like Akron is going to drink every citrusy drink under the sun to build up create some natural strong Kangaroo Juice™ that knocks out the competition.
The competition goes down a notch as their next game is Saturday against Division III Hiram College. Seems like they oughta be able to handle them.