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Akron (22-4) at Ohio University (20-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 27, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (13,080) -- Athens, Ohio. Television: SportsTime Ohio, ESPN3. Home Record: Akron 14-0, Ohio 15-1. Away Record: Akron 6-3, Ohio 5-6. Neutral Record: Akron 2-1, Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: Akron 12-0, Ohio 11-1. Series Record: Ohio leads, 35-21.
GAME NOTES: The Akron Zips put the nation's longest win streak on the line as they visit the Convocation Center for a key Mid-American Conference matchup with the Ohio University Bobcats.
The Zips enter Wednesday with a perfect 12-0 record in MAC play, while Ohio is just a game behind with an 11-1 mark in conference action. The Bobcats fell 86-72 to the Zips on Feb. 2 in the first encounter of the season between these schools. A win by Ohio would tie the programs for first place in the MAC East Division.
Keith Dambrot's Zips took care of business in the annual BracketBuster event over the weekend as they coasted to a 68-53 win over North Dakota State. The victory was the 18th in a row for Akron, which is one of 14 teams in the nation with four or fewer losses and just one of five teams still perfect in conference play. During their 18-game win streak, the Zips are out-scoring their opponents by 14.3 points per game and hold a +9.3 rebounding advantage.
Ohio was not able to find the same success in its break from conference action and dropped an 81-62 decision at Belmont on Saturday. Coach Jim Christian's unit may have had a forgettable showing versus the Bruins, but now it returns home where it has defeated 15 of its 16 opponents this season. Ohio has won 19 consecutive MAC home games dating back to the 2010-11 campaign.
Although Akron won in the first encounter of the season between these schools, Ohio still owns a 35-32 all-time series lead.
Zeke Marshall finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and five blocks for Akron as it downed the Bison on Saturday. Demetrius Treadwell tallied a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds in the win, while Nick Harney (13 points) and Alex Abreu (10 points) were also impressive. Marshall is one of the finalist for the Lou Henson Award, presented to the nation's top mid-major player thanks to his stellar senior campaign that has yielded 12.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per tilt. Treadwell (10.7 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and Abreu (5.9 apg) have both done their part to keep the Zips rolling. Akron is the only team in the MAC that features five players with 25 or more makes from beyond the arc.
Ohio's D.J. Cooper went into the BracketBuster event averaging 13.7 points per game and making 35.3 percent from long range, but he scored just six points and made just 1 of 7 3-point attempts in the loss. Cooper is one of the top passers in the nation with 7.6 assists per tilt and his efforts are a big reason why the Bobcats rank first among Division I programs in assists per game (18.6). Reggie Keely and Walter Offutt are both tallying over 11 ppg.
It should be interesting to see how Ohio performs after being thumped by the Bruins in its most recent appearance. Although all but one of the visitors to the Convocation Center stumbled this season, Akron is a tough matchup for the Bobcats due to Marshall's presence in the paint and Abreu's ability to counteract Cooper on the perimeter.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Akron 70, Ohio University 67
02/27 10:33:35 ET