It wasn't pretty. In fact, it was about as ugly a basketball game as you will find anywhere but the Akron Zips could care less as they will take the double bye to Quicken Loans Arena next week as the four seed after beating rival Kent State 58-54. The Flashes will go on the road in the first round of the MAC Tournament this Monday.
The Flashes shot an abysmal 15 percent from downtown. In case anybody was counting, the Flashes sunk three and missed 18 from long range. So how was this game even remotely close? The Zips could not hit free throws, especially late in the second half, shooting 12-24 on the game.
The first half was what you would expect in a typical Kent State vs. Akron game. The crowd was rocking, nobody was sitting down, and nobody was scoring. No surprises here. It took over two minutes before Kellon Thomas finally hit the nylon and put the scoreboard to good use. Kent State had a possession where they were able to get two offensive rebounds and missed three shots on one possession. The Flashes just were not able to finish inside.
Two monster Khaliq Spicer jams gave the Flashes the momentum midway through the first half but the Zips would not go away that easily. With just under two minutes to go in the first half, Quincy Diggs dribbled into the corner while being pressed by Kris Brewer. The Zips called a timeout immediately and Diggs proceeded to shove the ball off of Brewer's head. An infuriated Rob Senderoff implored the officials to go the monitor which they did, and subsequently called a technical foul on Diggs. The technical free throw was good and the Flashes took a five point lead into half time.
In the second half, neither team could pull away. Reggie McAdams hit a three to put the Zips up six with just over seven minutes to go. The Flashes responded and took a one point lead with four minutes to go. In the last four minutes, it seemed as if both teams weren't all that interested in putting this one away. The Flashes missed shot after shot and the Zips refused to slam the door missing five free throws. The Flashes could only muster three points in the final four minutes off a Dev Manley three with 27 seconds to go. Despite the missed Akron free throws in the closing minutes, the Flashes could not capitalize. The Zips would take it 58-54.
The Flashes battled with the Zips, even in front of a hostile crowd that was only 12 people short of capacity. At the end of the day, your'e not going to win many games shooting as poorly as Kent did from three (or in general). Treadwell was the savior in the second half for Akron. 11 points in one half by Tree is nothing out of this world, but three clutch free throws down the stretch to seal it was just what the doctor ordered.
The MAC Tournament is just around the corner now. Kent State's actual seeding has yet to be determined; dependent on the Bowling Green vs. Buffalo game. As it stands, the Flashes can end up as either the nine or ten seed and will most likely play either the Huskies or the Miami Redhawks. The Flashes have split the series with both teams this year.
The Zips have secured a double bye and will play in the quarterfinals in their first game. Don't look now, but the Zips could be looking at rematch with arch rival Kent State, or a rematch of last years conference championship with the Ohio Bobcats. Either way, The Q will be ready for #MACtion.