Road wins are supposed to be difficult to pick up in this league, but don't tell the Akron Zips that. Akron got their fourth conference road victory Saturday night with a closer than expected win over Central Michigan. The Zips were one of four road teams to win on Saturday, which is somewhat weird to see.
This one was interesting for awhile, as the Zips would pull away a little then Central Michigan fought back to tie it up. Blake Hibbitts' three point play with 4:36 left in the first half put the Chips up eight and Akron looked to be in full panic mode. The Zips however stood strong and went on a 15-2 run to end the half with Demetrius Treadwell contributing three baskets in a row and Quincy Diggs hitting two threes.
Shortly after halftime Hibbitts went on his own run, scoring ten points in the first six minutes. The Chips took the lead on a Braylon Rayson three but could only hang on for a few minutes. With the score tied at 62, Reggie McAdams hit a three followed by two straight Jake Kretzer threes. A Pat Forsythe and-one pushed the Zips lead to eleven and Central Michigan could never respond. They got it as close as five but Akron hit five straight free throws to make the lead insurmountable.
Quincy Diggs led the charge for Akron with nineteen points and four steals. Treadwell came up large as well, notching a double-double with fifteen points and fourteen rebounds. Kretzer and McAdams teamed up to go 7-15 from beyond the arc and 26 points. Once again, turnovers and free throw shooting were trouble spots as the Zips coughed it up seventeen times and went just 12-25 (48%) from the line.
Hibbitts was the one to keep the Chips in the game as he was on fire from the field. Hibbitts was 3-5 from deep and went 7-21 overall finishing up with twenty one points and six rebounds. Chris Fowler had his normal nineteen points and five assists but ended up fouling out near the end of the game. Austin Keel also had a nice game with thirteen off of the bench.
Akron moves into first place (for tonight at least) at 5-1. The Zips get Ball State at home on Wednesday in coordination with the "Purple Out" being conducted in support of Akron director of basketball operations Dan Peters.
Central Michigan sits at 0-6 and may have to wait awhile to pick up their first victory. The upcoming schedule is at Ohio, at Western Michigan, home vs. Kent State and home vs. Buffalo.