The Akron Zips tried valiantly to maintain their 15 game winning streak against the Ball State Cardinals. Ultimately the Cardinals prevailed in a double overtime thriller that saw Jimond Ivey set an Akron record with 48 points. The previous mark was 47 set by Joe Jakubick. It was also a Worthen Arena record, previously held by a couple of MAC legends, Bonzie Wells and Earle Boykins, who each had 41. Ivey shot 15-23 from the floor, but most of the other Zips struggled to put the ball in the basket. Daniel Utomi only hit 1 out of 14 three point attempts and the team, including Ivey’s performance, only hit 15-44.
On the other side, all five Ball State starters scored in double digits, and Trey Moses and Tahjai Teague both managed double doubles.
While a loss is never fun, one thing the Zips can take from this one is that Jimond Ivey broke out of his slump. For most of the season, he has struggled to find his niche’ in the John Groce high screen offense. We at the Belt expected big things from Ivey with all of the departures from a year ago. While he hasn’t been terrible, this was more of the types of performances we were expecting.
The Cardinals continue to pull out their fair share of wins in exceptionally close contests. With the core of juniors and the pipeline of talent waiting in the wings, a character building win like this has to encourage not only the fans, but the team.
Up next for the Zips, they travel to Oxford to take on a surprisingly good Miami squad. They must win if they want to stay above .500.
For the Cardinals, they face a huge contest in Toledo that is starting to look like a must win game if Ball State wants to have any chance at a West Division crown.