After failing to beat Akron (17-10, 9-5) in their last four match-ups, Ohio (19-8, 9-5) finally beat their MAC East rivals, 66-50, thanks in part to a strong defensive effort.
Right from the beginning, Ohio was in command for the entire game. The Bobcats started the game on a 14-2 run and ended the first half on a steal and score with two seconds left in the half to go up by 16. In the second half, every time Akron would inch back, Ohio would respond immediately. In the second half, Ohio led most of the half by double-digits, including a commanding 22-point lead at one point.
Ohio did a tremendous job of forcing the Zips into tough shots. Two of Akron’s best players, seniors Quincey Diggs and Demetrius Treadwell combined to shoot 7-30, with 11 of their 26 points coming from the free throw line. As a team, Akron shot a season-low 26.8% from the field.
As for the Bobcats, Jon Smith played by far his best game of the year, boasting 16 points (8-9 FG) and a career-high 12 rebounds. Travis Wilkins, who had 14 points in the last game against Akron, added 14 points again, including three 3-pointers.
The win today helps the Bobcats towards getting a bye in the MAC tournament. They are now tied with Akron, and remain a game back of Buffalo, who they already beat this season and play them next week at the Convo. A win in that game would put the Bobcats in first place of the MAC East.
Next week’s game against Buffalo will be on Wednesday at Convo. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.