Is it even a surprise when you hear that Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell got a double-double? Well, it shouldn't anymore.
The Akron Zips overwhelmed the UMBC Retrievers on Friday night at James A. Rhodes Arena, led mostly by Treadwell's casual ten points and thirteen rebounds. Jake Kretzer led the team in scoring with thirteen followed up by both Reggie McAdams and Kwan Cheatham who each chipped in nine.
UMBC came out hot as sophomore gurard Rodney Elliot hit two early threes to help the Retrievers jump out to an 18-10 lead just over eight minutes into the game. Akron's Pat Forsythe scored on the first Akron possession after the under-12 media timeout to jump start a 16-2 run that gave the Zips a 26-20 lead with seven minutes to go in the first half. Tree had five points and grabbed nine of his thirteen rebounds in the first half. Rodney Elliot and Cody Joyce led UMBC with nine points at the half. Akron carried the momentum to give themselves a 37-26 lead going into the break.
The second half was all Akron after the Zips took a 42-28 lead with just over fifteen minutes to go in the game forcing a Retrievers timeout. Then Kretzer started to heat up for the Zips. His three with thirteen minutes to go gave the Zips a 48-29 lead that would eventually swell to a 70-42 lead with three minutes to go and Akron left with the 74-57 victory.
Pat Forsythe and Kwan Cheatham played the center position for the Zips with Isaiah Johnson sidelined with a wrist injury. Cheatham scored nine points and blocked four shots while Forsythe was in foul trouble for most of the game. The Zips committed 22 fouls and UMBC shot 28 free throws but only made half of them. Free throw shooting is crucial to being successful and UMBC just couldn't make the free ones against the Zips.
The best thing to see against UMBC was the play from the true freshman guards Noah Robotham and Antino Jackson. Robotham was the Gatorade High School Player of the Year while at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, Nevada. Against UMBC,he played a team-high thirty minutes while recording eight points, five assists, and three turnovers. He may not be the next D.J. Cooper, but this guy could be really good. He has played in high-pressure situations while in high school and fits right in with his Akron teammates.
The other true freshman that will catch your eye is Antino Jackson from Houston, Texas. He only shot 2-8 from the field for four points, but he also recorded two assists and three steals. He is very quick and plays aggressive defense. Jackson's high school teammate Emmanuel Olojakpoke recently committed to Akron.
Keith Dambrot said after the game that he wanted the two freshmen to be on the floor together at times this season. They played really well together and should be a treat to watch this season.
If you read my preview of this game, you would see that my prediction was Akron 70 UMBC 54. Man, I was close! If my predictions are that accurate, then maybe the Zips will get back to the championship game this year. I'll worry about the next game for now, though.
Akron's next game is against the University of Spoiled Children (University of Southern California) on Thursday November 20, at 12:30 PM in Charleston, South Carolina in the first round of the Gildan Charleston Classic.