Somewhere in Pittsburgh tonight, Keith Dambrot must be smiling. Jimond Ivey hit a short jumper in the lane with 11 seconds left to lift the Akron Zips to a hard fought 81-79 win over the Bowling Green Falcons on Tuesday night in the Stroh Center.
The win is the 27th out of the last 29 games for Akron against the Falcons. All but two of those games came with Dambrot, now the head guy at Duquesne, as the Zips head coach. First-year head coach John Groce seems to be carrying on the tradition of dominance of the Falcons by the Zips. Groce is now 2-0 against the Falcons this year as they sweep the season series.
Justin Turner had given the Falcons a 79-78 lead with just 27 seconds left. That set-up the heroics by Ivey. Bowling Green had a couple of chances to take the lead or tie it on their final possession but Dylan Frye missed a three-point attempt and Demajeo Wiggins had a short put back attempt blocked by that man again…Ivey.
Daniel Utomi led the Zips in scoring with 29 points, while Malcom Divivier had 14 and Ivey finished with 12. Frye led the Falcons with 24 points, Wiggins added 17 and Turner scored 15. Wiggins had 12 rebounds and no player on either team had more than six.
There wasn’t much defense played in this one as Akron shot a blistering 51% from the field for the game and the Falcons weren’t far behind at 47%. The Falcons lost this game at the free throw line hitting only 16 of 23 attempts (69%), while the Zips were 24 of 30 for 80%.
Akron improves to 5-10 in the Mid-American Conference and 12-15 overall. The Falcons drop to 7-8 in the MAC and 16-12 overall. Akron returns home on Saturday to face the Miami Redhawks. The Falcons head to Kent State Saturday to battle the Golden Flashes.