Wednesday's Akron-EMU game is not recommended viewing for those that enjoy scoring or shooting or any sort of offense. It was as ugly as a game can be, especially in the first half. The Zips fought hard and persevered through their shooting woes to stage a comeback and pull off the victory.
The Zips were coming off a deflating last second loss to the Golden Flashes Saturday and looked to regain their focus early against the Eagles. The opposite of that occurred.
@ZipsMBB opens game shoting 9 percent. That isn't a typo; trail 15-5.— George Thomas (@GeorgeThomasABJ) February 6, 2014
NINE percent shooting. I'm not even mad, I'm impressed. The poor shooting would remain a theme throughout the game for the Zips who finished 3-23 shooting from three point land and 32% overall from the field.
We know it must be flu season because Akron's poor shooting seemed to be contagious as Eastern Michigan shot 2-11 from three and 40% overall. They went through a severe drought scoring only one point from 5:57 left until scoring an easy bucket with seven seconds left. They played well on the defensive end forcing the Zips to shoot (brick) many outside shots, although some suspect the poor shooting was a tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Akron only avoided a blowout thanks to the play of Demetrius Treadwell and Nick Harney. Treadwell and Harney crashed the boards early and often combining for nine offensive rebounds. Nick Harney finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Treadwell had 17 points and 14 rebounds of his own. Despite the play of Harney and Treadwell, Akron found themselves trailing for 39 minutes. Akron took their first lead with 42 seconds left on a play that was a microcosm of the whole game. A missed shot by Akron followed by an offensive rebound and put-back from Harney.
For Eastern Michigan, this game continued what has been a trend for the Eagles. They had a strong first half Saturday at Miami before losing a nine point lead in the second half. They blew a 13 point lead against the Ohio Bobcats in January after winning most of the game. It's a cause for concern that and a sign of their youth that the Eagles have had so much trouble closing out close games. Each loss brings the team more experience and they will need to learn from their mistakes to make a MAC tournament run. The Eagles fall to 12-10 overall and 4-5 in the MAC. They will host the Kent State Golden Flashes this Saturday.
The Zips improve to 15-7 overall and 7-2 in the MAC. They gained sole possession of the MAC East thanks to Ohio's loss to Western Michigan and now hold that coveted top two seed. They travel to Bowling Green on Sunday to take on the Falcons.