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Akron Zips vs. Ball State Cardinals men's basketball recap: Zips soar past Cardinals 73-64 for share of East lead

Reggie McAdams scored 15 to propel the Zips past Ball State.

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

At the 9:16 mark of the second half of today's game between the Akron Zips and Ball State Cardinals, the final score and winning team was very much in doubt. Akron lead Ball State 56-53 at that exact time, but the Cardinals had been cutting the Akron lead down for the greater part of the  second half after the Zips went into halftime up 11. With nine minutes to go, Ball State had the lead down to one possession and looked poised to finally make a run.

Except that didn't happen.

Over the course of the next eight minutes, no Cardinal shot attempt fell. That's not even a hyperbole, like saying Ball State made a few free throws and a layup or two over the course of those long eight minutes. The Cardinals went a full 7:48 without making a single basket or free throw.

Meanwhile, Akron took advantage and closed the game out, going on a 13-0 run in that time frame. That gave Akron a 16-point lead at 69-53 with 1:44 left on the clock, and the game was effectively over. Three straight Ball State 3-pointers made the final score a lot closer than the game actually was.

Turnovers were a major issue for Ball State. The Cardinals committed six during that eight-minute scoring drought and had 18 overall. Those killed any momentum Ball State tried to build, but Akron never really capitalized on those turnovers either, as the Zips scored just 10 points off of them.

Akron used their size to their advantage. The Zips outrebounded the Cardinals 29-22, but the biggest difference came at the free throw line. Ball State only attempted five free throws, making two, while Akron went to the line 15 times making 11. This wasn't because of a foul disparity either - both teams ended up with 14 fouls total. Akron center Isaiah Johnson scored 13 off of the bench going 5-7 from the field and 3-5 at the free throw line.

Reggie McAdams had a great game for Akron both offensively and defensively. The senior forward scored 15 points of 6-12 shooting from the field and a 3-6 mark from beyond the arc to lead the Zips in scoring. He collected eight rebounds and also stole the ball twice to contribute to his well-rounded game. Antino Jackson had a pretty standard game, pouring in 14 on 4-9 shooting and hitting two 3-pointers.

Jeremie Tyler played one of his best games in a Ball State uniform, putting up 18 points on 7-14 shooting including a 4-9 showing from deep. He tied for the team lead in assists with four and only committed one turnover. Forward Bo Calhoun had a solid day scoring, with 15 points to his name. But, his four rebounds wasn't even close to matching his average of nine per game.

Ball State will try to regroup next Tuesday as they travel to Bowling Green looking to stop the bleeding. Akron, meanwhile, gets a huge match-up against Ohio in Athens.

Game Leaders

Player Ball State Akron
Points J. Tyler (18) R. McAdams (15)
Rebounds F. House (6) R. McAdams (8)
Assists Two tied (4) N. Robotham (7)
Blocks T. Moses (2) K. Cheatham (2)
Steals Two tied (2) Four tied (2)