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2016-17 MAC Men’s Basketball Recap: Akron Zips vs. Air Force Falcons

The Zips get the win over a tough Air Force squad.

NCAA Basketball: Akron at Villanova Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Akron Zips (4-1) are now on a four-game winning streak as they downed Air Force 84-75 in the Savannah Invitational. Isaiah Johnson led the Zips with 19 points. six rebounds, and five assists while Antino Jackson and Josh Williams also had big nights as they combined for 31 points and 11 boards. The Zips left a lot of points on the floor though as they shot 44.8% form the field and missed nine free throws.

After trading blows with the Falcons for much of the first half, Akron found itself down 31-21 with 3:24 left in the half before the team made a big run thanks to Williams, Daniel Utomi, and Tavian Dunn-Martin to cut it to a 35-32 deficit with 1:28 to go. Air Force managed to answer before the halftime buzzer sounded as it took a 39-33 lead into the locker room.

The Zips came out in the second half as they took the lead with the help of a 14-0 run powered by a pair of buckets from Kwan Cheatham Jr., a couple of layups by Johnson, and a trio of free throws by Jackson. After chipping away at the lead, Air Force got within striking distance as it cut the Zips’ lead to 68-64 with 4:35 to go in regulation. Despite all this, a 6-0 run by UA that was enabled by free throws from Williams, Jackson, and Noah Robotham broke the back of the Falcons and AF couldn’t recover from it in time.

The three-point shot was a valuable asset for Akron as it made 12 three-pointers compared to Air Force’s five, as the teams were dead even in a lot of categories. The teams tied with 34 total rebounds, the Falcons committed two more turnovers and stole the ball one more time than the Zips did, and UA had a 3-2 edge in blocks.

The time and opponent for Akron’s next game at the Invitational tomorrow will be announced later.