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2018 MAC Basketball Preview: Miami RedHawks at Akron Zips

With just a few games remaining, the Zips look to climb out of the MAC East cellar.

Akron v VCU Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Miami RedHawks (14-14, 7-8 MAC) look to get above .500 again when they face off against the struggling Akron Zips (12-15, 5-10 MAC) Saturday afternoon.

Miami is tied for second place in the MAC East with Bowling Green and Kent State but will look to separate them from the pack with a win here...however, they’re just 1-4 in their last five games.

Akron has not had a great go of things in MAC games, going just 2-6 in their last eight games, but they are coming off a big 81-79 win over Bowling Green.

Game Details

  • When: Saturday, Feb. 24th, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Where: James A. Rhodes Arena - Akron, Ohio
  • Watch: ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app

Players to Watch

Nike Sibande, G, Miami - Sibande is the only RedHawk averaging 10+ points per game, as he nets 14.6. However, the freshman is only shooting 41.6% and has shot above 50% just twice in the past eight games.

Logan McLane, F, Miami - McLane is third in points (8.8) but leads the team in rebounds per game (5.8). He’s also been one of Miami’s more consistent shooters, at 50.2%, and is one of just two players shooting over 50% (min 5 attempts).

Jimond Ivey, G, Akron - Ivey is Akron’s biggest triple threat as he leads the team in assists (3.7/game), is tied for first in rebounds ( 5.5/game), and is third in points (13.7/game). Look for him to be all over the court for the Zips.

Daniel Utomi, F, Akron - Utomi, who nets 16 points per contest, is one of two Akron players to average more than 15 PPG. But, unlike Malcolm Duvivier (the other player averaging 15+ points), Utomi also sits atop the team in rebounding with Ivey and has been lights out from the free throw line - shooting 81.7% from the charity stripe.


This should be a more defensive battle as Miami allows less than 70 points per game but has struggled on offense as of late.

Akron might have the better overall player in Utomi but the RedHawks play much more solid team basketball; out-shooting, out-rebounding, out-stealing, and out-assist the Zips. Look for this to be a close game for the first 35 minutes before Miami’s stronger defense is able to force a few turnovers and sneak out of Akron with a win.

Miami RedHawks - 79
Akron Zips - 73