It was a game that the Akron Zips came into needing to win to lock up a spot in the semi-finals of the MAC Tournament. They did just that, beating Kent State 58-54 in front of a nearly sold-out James A. Rhodes Arena.
This contest was one of runs, especially in the second half. With the two teams tied at 37, Kent State went on a mini 6-0 run. The Zips then went on their own 12-0 run, highlighted by a Reggie McAdams three-pointer. An 8-1 run for the Flashes followed and gave them a 51-50 lead. Akron closed out the game with a smaller 7-3 run, but missed enough free throws in the end to make this one more interesting than it could have been.
While Quincy Diggs didn't have the best game in his life (7 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists), his last game in the JAR was a nice send-off for the senior who has endured so much during his college career . Demetrius Treadwell led the Zips with fourteen points and six rebounds but was just 6-11 from the free throw line.
Also, the win kept the Zips in great company for this statistic:
With the win, @ZipsMBB becomes just the 12th team to win at least 20 games in each of the last 9 season. #BackTheZips— Dallas Moyer (@ZipsDallas) March 8, 2014
Akron joins BYU, Duke, Florida, Gonzaga, Kansas, Louisville, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, San Diego State and Syracuse in that category. Keith Dambrot also moved into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time coaching wins list in the MAC with tonight's victory.
Now it's on to the most important part of the season for both sides: tournament time. Akron gets a double-bye straight to the quarterfinals as the fourth seed and will play whoever comes out of the 5-12 and 8-9 pool. Kent State will likely be the nine or ten seed and will have to travel for their first round game.
We'll have more on this game later, but if you're a Zips supporter you can breathe easier tonight.