It could not have come at a worse time for Keith Dambrot's high-flying University of Akron Zips men's basketball team. At one time holding the nation's longest win streak on the season (19 straight) and with 24 wins under their belts, the Zips have one more regular season game tomorrow night against backyard rivals Kent State before entering the Mid-American Conference Tournament as the top seed. They'll do it without the spark of their team.
Alex Abreu, the junior starting point guard Dambrot counts on to direct the team on the court, was arrested by Akron police officers on marijuana trafficking charges according to reports from the Akron Beacon Journal. On Twitter, ABJ reporter Phil Trexler tweeted Abreu was arrested Thursday and has been suspended from the team.
The Beacon Journal reports Abreu, with 10.3 points per game, is being held in the Summit County Jail.
This has been a truly remarkable season for both Dambrot's 24-5 men's squad as the MAC champions and top seed with their first post-season appearance set for March 15. On the women's side Coach Jodi Kest led her team to a 21-8 season and the MAC Eastern Division title going into next week's MAC women's basketball tournament as the third seed.
In a terse statement the University's athletic department forwarded all questions to the Akron Police Department while confirming the reports.
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(University of Akron athletics) Junior point guard Alex Abreu has been suspended from The University of Akron men's basketball team indefinitely pending the outcome of a police investigation.
UA's Zeke Marshall is up for another award as the nationally ranked Zips make a push towards March Madness.
The senior 7-footer is one of the 25 finalists for the Lou Henson Award, which is awarded to the nation's top mid-major player by CollegeInsider.com.
Marshall is averaging 12.6 points and 6.8 rebounds a game while helping the Zips to a league-best 22-4 record while going 12-0 in Mid-American Conference play.
University of Akron senior center Zeke Marshall has been named one of 25 finalists for the 2013 Lou Henson Award, which is awarded to the nations top mid-major player by CollegeInsider.com.
Marshall has helped the Zips to a 22-4 record and an 18-game winning streak, which is tied for the longest active streak in the nation. He is averaging 12.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots per game while shooting 65.5 percent from the floor.
For the second straight year CollegeInsider.com is working with Point3 Basketball to promote the Lou Henson award "fan vote," which will constitute 33 percent of the final vote. Fans can vote by visiting VoteLouHenson.com to place their vote.
The award is named in honor of Lou Henson who retired after a spectacular coaching career that lasted 41 years. When he left the game in 2005 he was sixth all-time in career Division I wins with 779. He is the winningest coach at both Illinois and New Mexico State. He is one of only 12 coaches in the history of the game to take two schools to the Final Four.
The 2013 award will be presented at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Atlanta, site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship
Chalk up 17 in a row for the national streak-leading University of Akron Zips men's basketball squad after a dominating 67-50 performance over Mid American Conference rival Bowling Green State University at the JAR Saturday night. The Zips remain undefeated in conference play and are 21-4 overall. The victory assures Keith Dambrot's team at least a second round seed in the MAC Tournament set for next month.
(University of Akron athletics) Four players scored in double figures as the Akron men's basketball team extended the nation's longest winning streak to 17 games courtesy of a 67-50 win over Bowling Green on Saturday night at James A. Rhodes Arena.
Akron, 21-4 overall and 12-0 in Mid-American Conference play, tied the 1957-58 Miami (Ohio) RedHawks for the best start to league play in conference history. The Zips also extended their home and overall conference winning streaks to 13 games. Additionally, the victory earned UA at least the No. 2 seed in next month's MAC Tournament.
Akron remains one of seven undefeated teams nationally in league play this season.
Zeke Marshall led the Zips with 15 points on the night in addition to nine boards, three blocked shots, one assist and one steal. Alex Abreu (13), Nick Harney (13) and Brian Walsh (10) also scored in double figures.
Richaun Holmes led Bowling Green (10-15, 5-7 MAC) with 15 points.
Akron won despite shooting 36.5 percent (23-of-63) from the field and helped itself by making 82.6 percent of its attempts (19-of-23) at the foul line and out-rebounding the Falcons, 43-35. UA converted BGSU's 15 turnovers into 16 points, and 21 of the Zips' points came on second-chance opportunities.
Bowling Green shot just 32.8 percent (19-of-58) from the floor and did not connect on a field goal in the last 5 1/2 minutes of the game when the Zips used a 12-1 run to close out the win.
UA opened the game on an 11-1 run and held a 29-21 advantage at halftime.
The Zips face North Dakota State on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. ET in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters game, set to air on ESPN2.
Zips Notebook: Zeke Marshall, the Zips' lone four-year senior, helped Akron to it's 90th win during his career ... this is the seventh senior class to win 90 games at Akron, the sixth under ninth-year head coach Keith Dambrot ... with his three blocked shots, Marshall moved into 10th place on the MAC's single-season blocked shots list (87).
On the Web: University of Akron Sports www.gozips.com
University of Akron Athletics - news release
OXFORD, Ohio – Quincy Diggs scored 14 points, including eight in the second half, to lead Akron to a 65-60 road win over Miami (Ohio) to open Mid-American Conference play on Saturday.
Diggs led three players in double figures for Akron, including Brian Walsh with 13 points and Nick Harney with 11 points. The Zips improved to 9-6 overall, 1-0 in MAC play and have now won three-straight against the RedHawks.
Akron forced 14 Miami (Ohio) turnovers compared to just seven by the Zips, including one in the final 20 minutes. UA finished the game shooting 44.0 percent from the floor (22-of-50) and 58.3 percent from long range (7-of-12).
Julian Mavunga led the RedHawks (4-9, 0-1 MAC) with 23 points and 14 boards.
After Miami (Ohio) pushed its advantage back to seven point (39-32) with 14:44 left in the game, Brett McClanahan drained his first 3-pointer to bring Akron within four (39-35) on the Zips’ next possession.
Both squads took turns trading points on possessions. Harney added six points during that stretch. Back-to-back layups by Diggs got Akron within one point (44-43) with 10:28 left on the second-half clock.
Akron regained the lead at 47-46 with 8:58 thanks to a Demetrius Treadwell layup on the fast break. Treadwell sparked the layup with his first steal of the game. Chauncey Gilliam capped off a 12-3 Akron run to give the Zips a 49-46 advantage with 8:36 to go.
The Zips and RedHawks continued to trade buckets before Miami (Ohio) grabbed a 54-53 lead with 3:27 left. The advantage was short-lived as Alex Abreu put the Zips back on top (55-54) on Akron’s next possession (3:04).
After Miami (Ohio) tied the game at 58-58 with 1:40 left on the clock, Diggs gave Akron the lead for good with two free throws. After a RedHawk turnover on their next possession, Abreu gave the Zips a four-point lead (62-58). The Zips would hold on at the line to take home the win.
Both teams struggled from the field through the first 8:08, combining to make just 6-of-22 from the floor (27.3 percent) with the game tied at 8-8 with 11:52 to go.
Akron used a 7-2 run to open up a 13-8 lead at the 10:14 mark before Miami (Ohio) grabbed its first lead of the game (16-15) with 6:35 left before the intermission. Both teams traded buckets before the RedHawks opened up a 21-18 lead (4:40).
Miami (Ohio) pushed its lead to 27-20 with 1:35 on the clock, but Akron was able to cut the advantage to four (29-25) by halftime.
Walsh led the Zips with eight points and three boards as Akron shot 34.8 percent from the floor (8-of-23) and 50.0 percent from long range (4-of-8). Akron committed six giveaways while forcing seven turnovers.
Akron closes out its three-game road trip on Wednesday, Jan. 11, when it faces Bowling Green at the Stroh Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Zips Notebook: The Zips improve to 13-7 in MAC openers, 4-6 on the road … Akron is 44-19 in January under head coach Keith Dambrot … UA has now won nine of the last 11 games in the series, including a 3-2 at Millett Hall.
Akron center Zeke Marshall was named Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week the league office announced on Monday.
Marshall, a junior from McKeesport, Pa., earned his first MAC East Player of the week honor of the season and the second of his career (Jan. 10, 2011). He helped the Zips to a 2-0 records last week with victories over Arkansas-Pine Bluff (87-64) and Florida A&M (91-69). For the week, he averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.0 blocked shots, 1.0 assist and 1.0 steal per game.
In Thursday’s matchup with Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Marshall scored a season-high 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 7-of-10 from the charity stripe. He also grabbed six boards and blocked seven shots, setting the Rhodes Arena record for blocked shots by an Akron player and posting the fourth total of six or more blocked shots in a single game of his career. His seven blocked shots also helped Akron break the Rhodes Arena record for blocked shots by a team with 12.
Against Florida A&M on Saturday, Marshall just missed his first double-double of the season, posting 13 points, nine rebounds and blocking three more shots. He closed the week shooting 68.4 percent from the field (13-of-19) and 72.7 percent from the free throw stripe (8-of-11).
Through Dec. 18, Marshall leads the MAC in field goal percentage (.651) and blocked shots (2.9 blocks/game) and is blocking 10.11 percent of the shots taken by opponents while on the floor, the tenth-best mark in the nation. His 2.9 blocks/game average is 19th-best in the nation (through Dec. 18).
Marshall joins Akron junior Quincy Diggs as a recipient of MAC East Player of the Week honors this season. Diggs earned his first POW on Nov. 14 following Akron’s 2-0 start to the season, which included a road victory at Mississippi State on Nov. 9.
The Zips continue their homestand tonight when they play host to Youngstown State at Rhodes Arena at 7 p.m. ET. Tonight's contest will serve as the Sixth Annual Teddy Bear Toss game.
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