Akron (15-4) at Bowling Green (7-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 30, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stroh Center (4,387) -- Bowling Green, Ohio. Television: SportsTime Ohio. Home Record: Akron 10-0, BGSU 6-2. Away Record: Akron 3-3, BGSU 0-8. Neutral Record: Akron 2-1, BGSU 1-2. Conference Record: Akron 6-0, BGSU 2-4. Series Record: Akron leads, 26-24.
GAME NOTES: The Akron Zips put their perfect Mid-American Conference record on the line as they invade the Stroh Center to tussle with the Bowling Green Falcons.
This will be the 51st meeting in history between these schools on the hardwood. Akron holds a narrow 26-24 edge in the rivalry after winning the last seven matchups.
Akron extended its winning streak to 11 games and rose to a 6-0 MAC record with a 68-64 victory over Buffalo on Saturday after it overcame a 20-point deficit to edge the Bulls. Coach Keith Dambrot's squad is outscoring its opponents by 15.8 points per game and holding a +10.3 rebounding margin during the span of the streak. The Zips have the top scoring offense (75.2) in the MAC as well as the third best scoring defense (62.7). Zeke Marshall posts 12.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.8 blocks per contest while Demetrius Treadwell contributes 10.6 points and 7.3 boards a game. Marshall is the MAC's all-time and active NCAA career blocked shots leader (319). Junior point guard Alex Abreu is also valuable to Akron's success as he deals out 5.8 assists per tilt while running the show.
The Zips converted 44.2 percent of their field goal attempts and 7-of-17 from long distance to rally past Buffalo. Akron used a 19-5 first-half run and a 19-0 second-half spurt to pull off the comeback. Marshall was phenomenal defensively once again, swatting six shots to go along with eight points. Abreu tallied 13 points, four assists, and two steals while Treadwell posted 13 points and seven boards.
Bowling Green suffered its third setback in four outings on Saturday when it was dealt a 75-62 loss at Toledo. The loss placed the Falcons at 7-12 overall and a 2-4 mark in conference play. Senior point guard Jordon Crawford paced the team in the losing effort with 20 points and seven assists and Luke Kraus scored a season-high 12 points. A'uston Calhoun posted 13 points and four boards, but Chauncey Orr was only 1-of-5 from the floor en route to three points and the same number of turnovers as the team fell for the ninth time in 11 appearances.
The Falcons are led by a dynamic senior scoring combo of Crawford (16.5 ppg) and Calhoun (15.7). The 5-foot-6 Crawford's lightning quick first step has helped him run the show for BGSU as he deals out 4.1 assists and records 1.7 steals per contest, but he showed at Toledo he is prone to off-nights by going 8-of-22 from the field. Calhoun is active on the glass to grab 7.5 rpg, while Richaun Holmes rejects 2.8 shots per tilt. Bowling Green is also one of the better defensive teams in the MAC, limiting their opposition to 63.3 ppg. However, they are 10th in scoring with a measly 61.9 ppg.
After surviving their poor start against Buffalo, Akron will aim to leave no doubt in this one. The Falcons will need a huge performance out of Calhoun, but he will likely struggle inside if he attempts to challenge Marshall. Although Crawford is a solid point guard, the Zips have a decent one of their own to off-set him.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Akron 73, Bowling Green 60
01/30 10:34:25 ET