Princeton (5-6) at Akron (7-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 30, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: James A. Rhodes Arena (5,500) -- Akron, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Princeton 2-3, Akron 5-0. Away Record: Princeton 3-2, Akron 0-3. Neutral Record: Princeton 0-1, Akron 2-1. Conference Record: Princeton 0-0, Akron 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The first-ever meeting between the Princeton Tigers and the Akron Zips takes place on Sunday night, as the two teams clash at Rhodes Arena.
The Tigers, members of the Ancient Eight or the Ivy League as it is more commonly known, are shooting for a third straight win. The team is enjoying back-to-back victories for the first time this season thanks to a 62-45 romp over Rider 10 days ago, and a 79-67 triumph versus Bucknell on Dec. 22.
As for the Zips, the team with the second-best record in the East Division of the Mid-American Conference heading into the weekend, they already have their three-game win streak established. Triumphs over Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Cleveland State were followed with an 83-68 win over Texas Southern three nights ago. During the current run of success, Akron is outscoring the competition by 25.0 ppg.
Against a Bucknell program that entered the meeting with an impressive 11-1 record, the Tigers knocked down 51.0 percent from the floor, including 11- of-25 behind the 3-point line in the double-digit win. All five starters scored in double figures for the hosts, led by Ian Hummer and Denton Koon with 17 points apiece, the former accounting for eight rebounds and a couple of blocked shots before fouling out. Hans Brase added 14 points, T.J. Bray 11 and eight assists, followed by Mack Darrow with 10 points. Hummer, who has won Ivy League Player of the Week honors three times already this season, is the lone double-digit scorer for the group with 15.5 ppg and he is also first on the team with 6.5 rpg, 51 assists and 12 blocks, so there's little he can't and won't do for this team. Defensively, the Tigers have held the competition to just 58.3 ppg, based on 41.4 percent shooting from the field.
Against a team that had won only once in 12 tries heading into their meeting earlier this week, the Zips didn't appear to have much of a problem against Texas Southern as the hosts shot an even 50 percent from the floor and held a 39-30 advantage on the glass. Demetrius Treadwell turned in a double-double with 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while Zeke Marshall also had a strong game with 21 points, eight boards and five blocks. Shooting 4-of-8 beyond the arc, Alex Abreu finished with 14 points for Akron in the win as well. As one of only two players to have started all 11 games for the Zips, it only makes sense that Marshall leads the team in both scoring (13.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.6 rpg) as he not only shoots a staggering 62.1 percent from the field, but is also responsible for 44 blocks which is 15 more than all opponents to this point. Treadwell and Abreu check in with 11.0 and 10.1 ppg, respectively, the former grabbing 6.3 rpg and the latter handing out 63 assists.
If the Tigers want to be competitive in this meeting they'll need more than just Hummer to make it happen. Unfortunately for the visitors, Akron has just too many weapons to battle.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Akron 79, Princeton 63
12/30 11:04:12 ET