Akron (14-6) at Kent State (11-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 6 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: MAC Center (6,327) -- Kent, Ohio. Television: TWC Sports Channel, ESPN3. Home Record: Akron 8-1, KSU 8-5. Away Record: Akron 5-3, KSU 3-4. Neutral Record: Akron 1-2, KSU 0-0. Conference Record: Akron 6-1, KSU 2-5. Series Record: Kent State leads, 70-68.
GAME NOTES: The Akron Zips will try to protect their first place position in the Mid-American Conference standings as they visit the MAC Center to take on the Kent State Golden Flashes.
Akron notched its third consecutive victory on Wednesday as it completed a 73-46 rout of Ball State at home. The Zips hold a one-game lead over Ohio University and Buffalo in the East Division race thanks to their recent surge, which has left them with a 6-1 conference record. Coach Keith Drambot's team has won eight of its last nine games overall. Akron is ranked second in MAC games in scoring with an average of 72.6 ppg.
Kent State will be looking to snap a four-game losing streak that was extended on Wednesday with its 50-49 home setback to Northern Illinois. The recent slide has dropped the Golden Flashes to a 11-9 overall standing, which includes an 8-5 mark at the MAC Center. Coach Rob Senderoff's squad set a new season-low for points against the Huskies, but it is still ranked fourth in the MAC in scoring offense at 71.7 ppg.
Kent State holds a 70-68 advantage in its rivalry versus Akron. The Zips have won seven of the last nine in the series to narrow the deficit to just two games.
Demetrius Treadwell and Nick Harney each finished with 15 points in the Zips' lopsided win over the Cardinals on Wednesday. Kwan Cheatham Jr. got into the mix with 14 points and Reggie McAdams scored 11 points. Akron made 48.1 percent of its field goal attempts including 10 shots from beyond the arc and converted 13-of-14 tries at the charity stripe. Treadwell has been a force on the interior all season en route to team-high averages of 13.9 ppg and 8.3 rpg. Quincy Diggs is second in both categories with 12.4 ppg and 4.5 rpg. The Zips have plenty of shooters on their roster and pace the MAC in makes from beyond the arc per game at 7.7.
The Golden Flashes could not get anything to fall on Wednesday as they finished the contest 16-of-46 from the floor and 6-of-20 from behind the 3- point line. Darren Goodson connected on 4-of-8 shots from the floor for a game-high 10 points, but none of his teammates managed to reach double figures in the scoring column. Kris Brewer really struggled from the field, missing all seven off his shots while Kellon Thomas (1-of-5) and Derek Jackson (1- of-5) also had poor showings. Brewer is netting a team-high 12.1 ppg despite being held to 39.7 percent efficiency from the field. Three of his teammates, including Jackson (10.8 ppg) and Darren Goodson (10.3 ppg) are contributing over nine ppg.
The Golden Flashes have been disappointing in league play so far. They will need Melvin Tabb (6-9, 225) and Mark Henniger (6-9, 230) to step up on the inside to prevent Treadwell from taking over. Akron's biggest weakness has been its ball control and KSU does a good job of forcing its opposition into mistakes. The Golden Flashes are talented enough to stifle the Zips if they can find a way to regain their early season momentum.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kent State 70, Akron 68
02/01 10:14:23 ET