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2017 MAC Men’s Basketball Recap: Ball State Cardinals at Akron Zips

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Akron keeps the home winning streak alive in a thriller

Akron v VCU Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Akron Zips all wore uniforms that had the name of former Akron coach Dan Peters. Peters succumbed to cancer, and now for the 4th straight year, Akron honored his memory with a #4 Pete’s Sake fundraiser.

The Ball State Cardinals opened the scoring with a three. Shortly thereafter, Akron took the early lead, building it to 19-12 with 9 minutes and change left in the first half.

The Cardinals responded by going on a 10-0 run to take the lead, 22-19.

Tavian Dunn-Martin ended the bleeding for the Zips, knocking down a three to tie it up. That seemed to take the lid off the basket for the Zips. The Zips went into the locker room with the lead, 30-28.

At the 15:52 official timeout, Ball State was able to take the lead, 36-34. All without a single point from Taylor Persons.

By the 12:28 mark, Akron had taken the lead, 45-38.

Akron kept a comfortable lead until Ball State closed to 54-50 on a Ryan Weber three. The Zips responded by getting the ball into Isaiah Johnson, and he responded with a layup. That put the score 56-50 with 6:13 to go in the game.

Persons made his first points of the game, a huge three to keep Ball State in it, 58-53. After a Kwan Cheatham Jr. score down low, Persons then dished to Sellers who knocked down the three. 60-56 Akron, with 4:39 left in the game.

Akron came out of the timeout with a huge alley oop, electrifying the crowd. Sellers responded with his third three of the game. Akron coach Keith Dambrot called a time out with a three point lead with 3:32 to go.

Neither team was shooting particularly well on the game, but at this point, they were giving maximum effort.

Tahjai Teague made a huge dunk to to put the Cardinals within one. With a chance to take the lead, Taylor Persons was called for an offensive foul. After an offensive foul on Johnson, Ball State had a chance to take the lead with a minute to go. The Cardinals got a good look, but missed and Akron was able to secure the rebound.

Akron called the timeout with 28 seconds left. They got a good look from three for Cheatham, and the long rebound was tipped out of bounds. Akron had the ball with the lead, and only 19.1 seconds left.

A lazy pass, and the ball was called Ball State ball, and it was reviewed. Legally, it was the wrong call, but it was the correct call. There was a foul on the play, but replay can’t call the foul, so they called it not enough evidence to overturn.

House took it to the House, and put the Cardinals up 63-62. My apologies, but I knew I was going to do that at least once this season.

A long pass by Akron got the ball underneath to Johnson, who was fouled and hit one out of two. After a Ball State turnover, Akron had a chance to win with 2.3 seconds left. Isaiah Johnson basically posted up at the three point line and drilled it. Akron won their 29th in a row at home in a thriller.

Johnson finished with 20 points and 9 rebounds for the Zips. Jimond Ivey added 10.

Franko House scored 18, grabbed 7 rebounds, and dished 4 assists for Ball State. Ryan Weber added 16 on 4 of 7 from beyond the arc. Sellers added 11 off the bench, and was 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.

Akron moved to 10-1 in the MAC, and 20-4 on the season. They head to Ypsilanti to take on Eastern Michigan next.

Ball State moved to 6-5 and 15-9 on the season. They host the Bobcats next.