Eastern Michigan (12-9) at Akron (14-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 5, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: James Rhodes Arena (5,500) -- Akron, Ohio. Television: TWC, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Eastern Michigan 9-3, Akron 8-1. Away Record: Eastern Michigan 3-6, Akron 5-4. Neutral Record: Eastern Michigan 0-0, Akron 1-2. Conference Record: Eastern Michigan 4-4, Akron 6-2. Series Record: Akron leads, 22-19.
GAME NOTES: The Akron Zips had a three-game winning streak snapped in their last outing against Kent State, but will look to create some separation atop the Mid-American Conference as they host the Eastern Michigan Eagles in conference play at James Rhodes Arena.
Eastern Michigan dropped its most recent contest, a 65-61 defeat at the hands of Miami-Ohio, Saturday. The Eagles have lost three of their last four games in MAC play, and find themselves two games below Toledo in MAC West Division action.
Kent State just barely snuck by Akron, 60-57, Saturday that allowed the Ohio University Bobcats to remain in a tie with the Zips atop the MAC East Division at 6-2 in the conference. Akron has won eight of its last 10 games.
The Zips hold a 22-19 all-time series lead over the Eagles, which includes a 78-68 win over Eastern Michigan back on Jan. 22 of this year. EMU head coach Rob Murphy has yet to beat Akron in three tries at the helm of the squad.
Eastern Michigan jumped out to an eight-point lead over Miami-Ohio in the team's most recent outing, but couldn't hold on as the RedHawks outscored the Eagles, 43-31, in the second half of the contest for the four-point win. Raven Lee topped all Eastern Michigan scorers with 18 points in the defeat, while Karrington Ward chipped in 16 points and seven rebounds. EMU shot 40 percent in the first half from the floor, but sipped to 36.7 percent in the second frame and ended up with a 38.2 percent shooting mark in the game.
Ward leads the Eagles this season in scoring with a 13.4 ppg average on 42.9 percent shooting from the floor. Ward's 6.9 rpg average is also tops on the team, along with his 33 total steals. Glenn Bryant is second on the squad at 11 ppg, and Lee comes in at third with 10.3 ppg. Mike Talley leads all Eagles players with 76 assists on the season.
Kent State went into the locker room with a 26-22 lead over Akron on Saturday in MAC action, which proved to be enough as the Zips could only shed off one point of the deficit in the second frame. Demetrius Treadwell notched a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the loss, while Quincy Diggs scored 15 points with five rebounds. Nick Harney chipped in 11 points and five rebounds for the Zips.
Treadwell is the team's go-to scorer this season, netting an average of 14 ppg on 46.4 percent shooting from the field. His 8.3 rpg margin is a team best as well. Diggs, who didn't start at the beginning of the season but has earned his place in the starting rotation in the last few weeks, is averaging 12.5 ppg this year with a team-high 2.8 apg. The Zips are scoring 69.8 ppg this season through 21 games played.
Akron easily handled Eastern Michigan the last time these teams met in Ypsilanti, so having the home advantage should help the Zips tremendously. With solid defense and more contributions from Treadwell and Diggs, Akron will be attempting a run at a solo first-place spot in the MAC.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Akron 74, Eastern Michigan 65
02/05 10:30:51 ET