Sometimes shots fall and sometimes they don't. Akron's case tonight was the latter. The court at Scheels Arena in Fargo, North Dakota rests over a hockey rink, making the area around the floor significantly cooler than most. Long story short, maybe thanks to the cold, neither team shot the ball well.
The score was 12-6 in favor of the Bison for a span of three minutes during the middle of the first half. The Bison carried a 22-19 lead into the half.
The teams started to heat up in the second half, though. The Bison led by as many as ten at 40-30 and the Zips got as close as 43-42 with just under four minutes to go before North Dakota State pulled away to a 55-46 final. The leading scorer of the game was 5-18 from the floor and that is indicative of how things went for both teams tonight.
Akron's leading scorer was Deji Ibitayo with 10 points on 4-9 shooting. He is another one of those Zips who struggle for three years and then have a breakout senior year (*cough cough Jimmy Conyers cough cough*). He also grabbed 4 boards. As a team, Akron shot 17-57 for 29.8% and just 5-19 from the three point line. The Zips shot 7-13 from the stripe, which reminded many Zips fans of recent years.
The Bison were led by Lawrence Alexander with 22 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 blocks on 5-18 shooting. He got to 22 by going 10-10 from the stripe. As a team, North Dakota State committed just 9 fouls in the game and shot 17-20 at the free-throw line.
Next up for the Zips is a Division II Bluffton Beavers squad at James A. Rhodes Arena on Saturday at 7PM.