Bowling Green (12-16) at Akron (17-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: James A. Rhodes Arena (5,500) -- Akron, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: BGSU 7-7, Akron 10-2. Away Record: BGSU 4-8, Akron 6-7. Neutral Record: BGSU 1-1, Akron 1-2. Conference Record: BGSU 6-9, Akron 9-6. Series Record: Akron leads, 29-24.
GAME NOTES: After suffering their third consecutive setback, the Akron Zips return home to James A. Rhodes Arena for a Mid-American Conference matchup with the Bowling Green Falcons.
Bowling Green snapped a two-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 73-66 win over Kent State. Coach Louis Orr's team put forth an impressive defensive display as it limited the Golden Flashes to 34.9 percent efficiency from the floor, while sinking 46.8 percent of its own field goal tries. BGSU also converted 26-of-38 shots at the charity stripe and outrebounded Kent State, 44-31. The Falcons are one of the top defensive teams in the conference and rank second in MAC games with an allowance of only 62.7 ppg, but they are also second to last in the league in scoring offense at 61.7 ppg.
Akron has dropped four of its last five games to fall into a second place tie in the East Division standings with a 9-6 MAC ledger. In their most recent outing, the Zips were held to 37.5 percent shooting from the floor, including a 7-of-19 clip from beyond the arc in a 65-61 loss to Miami-Ohio in Oxford. Coach Keith Drambot's squad was also outscored, 18-12, at the charity stripe by the RedHawks. The Zips have failed to score 70 points in seven of their last eight outings.
This will be the second meeting this season and 54th in history between these East Division rivals on the hardwood. Akron narrowly edged the Falcons, 65-63, on Feb. 9 to improve to 29-24 versus BGSU all-time.
Jehvon Clarke was spectacular for BGSU against the Golden Flashes on his way to 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. The Falcons also received a double-double of 14 points and 10 boards courtesy of Richaun Holmes, while Spencer Parker contributed 12 points. Holmes is pacing BGSU with averages of 13.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg and is second among MAC players with 2.8 blocks per tilt. Parker owns a 12.9 ppg average and also grabs 5.4 rpg, and Clarke nets 12.8 ppg with a team-high 4.9 apg total. Anthony Henderson rounds out the double-digit scorers on the team with 11.1 ppg.
Only two Zips scored in double figures in their loss to Miami. Deji Ibitayo led Akron with a season-high 14 points, while Demetrius Treadwell added 12 points and 11 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the campaign. Although they had trouble connecting from 3-point range against Miami, the Zips have been one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the MAC this season, ranking in the MAC in 3-point percentage (.337) and in 3-pointers made per game (7.1). Treadwell is not a threat from the perimeter, but his ability to score in the paint has helped him net a team-high 14.6 ppg and opened up outside shots for his teammates. Treadwell is also pulling down 8.9 rpg, while Quincy Diggs is second on the squad with 11.9 ppg and 4.8 rpg. Diggs is in a terrible slump as he is 1-of-13 from beyond the arc over his last two outings.
With a win, the Zips will lock up at least a home game in the MAC Tournament. BGSU will not make it easy for Akron though, especially if Clarke carries his momentum to Rhodes Arena. Despite being tied for last in the division standings, the Falcons could be a surprise team in the MAC down the stretch if they identify a consistent go-to-guy.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 67, Akron 63
03/01 10:38:27 ET