There was no doublt in the second half as the University of Akron men's basketball team erased a close first half to cruise past the Ohio University Bobcats 65-46 at Quicken Loans Arena to snag their third MAC Championship and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Let the March Madness begin.
Demetrius Treadwell and Chauncey Gilliam both led the Akron offense with 13 points each; Nick Harney had 11 and Zeke Marshall scored 10 as four Akron players poured in double digits.
Ohio's Reggie Keely paced the Bobcats with 19 but he was the only OU player in double digits.
Akron To Rally Sunday For NCAA Selection Party
(University of Akron) The University of Akron will hold an NCAA Tournament Selection Show Watch Party for its Mid-American Conference champion men's basketball team on Sunday, March 17, starting at 5 p.m. ET at James A. Rhodes Arena. The top-seeded Zips defeated second-seeded Ohio on Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to earn the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
To end the regular season, Kent State's Golden Flashes handed the University of Akron Zips a rare 2012-13 season loss. Last night at Quicken Loans Arena, the Zips returned the favor but this time it ended KSU's dreams of postseason play.
Without the services of starting point guard Alex Abreu following his arrest on drug trafficking charges the Zips had a tough hill to climb beating neighborhood rival Kent State in the regular-season closing Wagon Wheel game. Despite a hard rally in the second half, the University of Akron squad fell short in sending a message they were whole and ready to go heading into next week's MAC Tournament rounds.
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(University of Akron athletics) Despite a late second-half rally, The University of Akron men's basketball team lost 68-64 to neighborhood rival Kent State on Friday at James A. Rhodes Arena in the latest edition of the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge.
The loss snapped a five-game win streak for the Zips (24-6, 14-2 Mid-American) against the Flashes (19-12, 9-7 MAC) and ended a 15-game home win streak.
Three Akron players scored in double-figure points, led by Zeke Marshall's 14, Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell's 13 and Reggie McAdams' 12. Treadwell also grabbed 13 rebounds to tally his seventh double-double of the year. Marshall had eight boards for the Zips who out-rebounded the Flashes 44-39 overall and 24-12 on the offensive glass.
With his five blocked shots, Marshall also set the MAC's single-season blocked shots record with 109.
Kent State was led by Darren Goodson's 19 points and team-high eight rebounds.
Treadwell and Marshall got the Akron faithful on their feet to start the second half, scoring six points in the lane to spark the offense. The 6-2 run forced Kent State to call timeout with its lead reduced to 42-31.
The Golden Flashes responded and went into the under-12 media timeout leading 46-32.
Akron once again trimmed the lead down to 11 (50-39) with 8:50 left, in which the lead would hover there for the next few minutes. A 9-3 run would put the Zips back in the game, capped off by a Chauncey Gilliam floater, cutting the deficit to 57-51 heading into the final three minutes of the game.
With KSU up nine, the Jake Kretzer and McAdams hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 64-61 with 28 seconds remaining. Akron would then start fouling to conserve clock. However, the Zips would not be able to overcome the deficit and would fall 68-64.
The Zips scored the first two buckets of the game, both by Marshall with the assist from Carmelo Betancourt, but made just two of their next 10 shots to fall behind 14-9 by the 11:31 media timeout.
Akron kept the margin close until back-to-back buckets gave the Golden Flashes a 26-15 lead with 7:50 left in the opening half. Three minutes later, the Akron deficit was 34-18, forcing the Zips to call timeout with 4:46 left in the half.
The Kent State lead would remain in double figures as Akron went to the locker room down 40-25.
The Zips finished the first 20 minutes shooting 34.4 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from behind the arc. Kent State shot 46.7 percent in the opening half and forced eight UA turnovers, while the rebounding battle was knotted at 19-all.
Treadwell led the Zips with six points and four boards in the half. Betancourt, McAdams and Marshall finished with five points each. Betancourt finished with three assists, one steal and one turnover.
The Zips will open the MAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed and will play in the semifinals on Friday, March 15, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. ET and the contest will air live on SportsTime Ohio.
Zips Notebook: The Zips honored seniors Chauncey Gilliam, Zeke Marshall and Brian Walsh before the game ... Carmelo Betancourt made his second-collegiate start, his first since starting the season opener at Coastal Carolina on Nov. 9 ... Akron leads the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge 5.5-3.5 following tonight's outcome ... Marshall passed Ohio's Patrick Flomo (105) for the MAC's single-season blocked shots mark with his second swat of the night ... tonight's 24 offensive rebounds marked the fourth time this year the Zips had 20-plus boards on the offensive glass.
Authorities say the body of someone who apparently committed suicide was found at Akron's InfoCision Stadium, hours before a game was to kick off today.
Gregg Bach, a spokesman for the University of Akron football team, says the body was discovered Saturday morning in the stands of InfoCision Stadium, and that university police have concluded their investigation. He didn't say where in the stadium the body was found or who found it.
University spokeswoman Laura Massie says police have told her the death appears to be a suicide.
The person found was not a current University of Akron student, but was a former student.
The finding did not impact the start of today's game at InfoCision Stadium, with the University of Akron Zips playing the Ohio University Bobcats. Kickoff took place at 3 PM, as scheduled.
AkronNewsNow's Mike Ward contributed to this report.
Junior co-captains Chad Barson and Scott Caldwell were each recognized nationally for their efforts Monday in leading The University of Akron men's soccer team to a 4-0 victory at Saint Louis last weekend.
Barson was named to Top Drawer Soccer's National Team of the Week while Caldwell earned like accolades from College Soccer News.
Barson, a defender from Lewis Center, Ohio, logged all 90 minutes at center back for the Zips (3-0-1), who posted their third shutout in four games Saturday. UA dominated SLU in nearly every category, limiting the Billikens to just four shots for the game (to the Zips' 21), including two shots on goal. For the season, Akron has allowed just one goal in nearly 400 minutes of play.
Caldwell, a midfielder from Braintree, Mass., played a key role in all four UA goals with a goal and three assists. Moreover, his strike in the 85th minute gave the Zips a commanding 3-0 lead and was of the spectacular variety, sailing over a wall of defenders from distance and tucking just under the upper-right crossbar.
After playing the last three games on the road, Akron will return to FirstEnergy Stadium – Cub Cadet Field this weekend to host The University of Akron Tournament starting Friday at 7 p.m. versus New Mexico and continuing Sunday at 6 p.m. against Cal Poly.
The University of Akron women’s golf team will open its fourth season today when it travels to Lincoln, Neb., for the 2011 Chip-N Club Invitational at the par-72, 6,186-yard Country Club of Lincoln.
The Zips open a season at the event for the second-consecutive year. Akron finished tied for sixth place in the 2010 edition of the invitational after posting a two-round score of 618 (+42).
Joining Akron in the 16-team field will be Creighton, Florida Gulf Coast, Houston Baptist, Iowa, Lamar, McNees State, No. 80 Missouri State, No. 94 Nebraska (host), North Dakota State, Redlands Community College, No. 87 Sam Houston State, SMU, South Dakota, No. 20 Texas A&M and Wichita State. The Zips enter the event ranked No. 108 in the Golfstat rankings.
Akron opens the campaign following the most successful season in the program’s three-year history. The Zips finished 2010-11 with top-10 finishes in all 11 events, including the team’s first team title at the Third Annual Zippy Invitational (Oct. 11-12, 2010).
Three seniors will lead the way for Akron, including Kristen Hill, Amanda Butler and Katie Jenior. Hill is a two-time First-Team All-MAC selection (2009, 2010) and was named to the Golf World 50 Women’s College Players to Watch list for the 2011-12 season by Campus Insider blogger Ryan Herrington on Sept. 7. UA will also have the services of sophomores Sara Chaves and Whitney Graff, as well as freshmen Sara Johansson and Laura Murray.
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