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Akron vs. Eastern Michigan Recap: Zips Roll To 78-68 Win As Jake Kretzer Catches fire

The Zips bounced back from their recent loss to Toledo in a big way Wednesday night, rolling over Eastern Michigan on the road.

Jake Krezter was the star of Wednesday's game, putting up 19 points in the first half alone.
Jake Krezter was the star of Wednesday's game, putting up 19 points in the first half alone.
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The good news Wednesday night for Eastern Michigan? The Eagles outscored the Akron Zips in the 2nd half 49-39. The bad news? Their entire team scored as many points as Jake Kretzer did in the first half - 19. Kretzer caught fire early with five first half three pointers as the Zips took out the Eagles 78-68 to move to 12-6 overall and 4-1 in the MAC.

Kretzer finished the game with seven triples and 25 points overall. Demetrius "Tree' Treadwell posted another solid effort with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Quincy Diggs finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists, four blocks, and one steal.

It didn't go as well on the Eastern Michigan (11-7, 3-2) sideline, although Karrington Ward (20 points, six rebounds) and Da'Shonte Riley (seven blocks) posted solid efforts to at least keep things interesting.  For an Eagles team coming in as winners of four of their last five games, it was a missed opportunity to show they could beat the cream of the crop in the conference. It won't get any easier for them come Saturday with Ohio University coming into town fresh off of being upset by Bowling Green Wednesday night.

For the Zips it was an important win and a solid bounce-back game for a team that was embarrassed in their own gym this past Saturday against Toledo. Akron came out with energy from the opening tip, jumping out to a 12-0 start and creating a 17-1 margin 12 minutes into the game.

Lost in Kretzer's huge game was two changes made by Akron head coach Keith Dambrot. First, Quincy Diggs was moved back into the starting lineup. With the team starting slowly in previous games, Diggs gave them an immediate jump-start tonight. Second, Isaiah "Big Dog" Johnson played more minutes than Pat Forsythe and even more importantly finished the game as the Zips fought to hold on. The true freshman is an imposing force at 6'10", 285 and, with a bevy of raw talent, we can expect to see his minutes continue to rise as the season moves on.

Finally, Carmelo Betancourt has taken back hold of the point guard position from Nyles Evans - at least for the time being. It was easily the sophomore's best game of the season as he scored 5 points and dished out eight assists while only turning the ball over once.  Also of note - Deji Ibitayo, who started Saturday, logged a DNP tonight.  There is no word yet as to if he's injured or if it was Dambrot's decision.

Akron continues their road trip Saturday with a visit to Mount Pleasant to take on Central Michigan. With Ohio's loss to Bowling Green tonight, the Zips will be playing to keep at least a share of the MAC East lead.