Game #9-561: Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Akron ZipsMarch 15, 2013 6:30 pm
Whenever I watch Kent State and Akron play on television, one thing the announcers always mention is how close the two schools are. Depending on the announcer, I've heard 14, 11, and 12. When I went to Google Maps
, I discovered that depending on the route, the schools are either 14, 11, or 12 miles apart, depending on the route that you take. In any event, the two schools are close, and because they draw from students in the same geographic area in Northeast Ohio, the two are natural rivals. It also doesn't hurt that the two school have both had success in the MAC Tournament, and as I mentioned during a recent challenge
, meet often in the tournament. This meeting would be the fifth tournament meeting in the last seven years between the two schools.
Because the two schools are about an hour from Quicken Loans Arena, site of the MAC Tournament, the crowd was excellent. Both schools provided busses for their students, and plenty of alumni from both schools were in attendance as well. It made for an announced attendance of over 10,000, and the feel of a conference championship game, not a conference semi-final.
The two schools were meeting for the second time in a week. One week prior, the Golden Flashes upset the Zips on their own floor. It had been two weeks of distractions for the Zips, who lost their point guard on alleged drug charges. The arrest occurred the day before the previous meeting, and I am sure that is distracted the team while trying to prepare for the Flashes. The good news was that they had a week to prepare this time, as the team won the MAC Regular Season, earning them the top seed in the tournament and a triple-bye straight to the semi-finals. The Flashes who entered the tournament as the fourth seed, beat the Buffalo Bulls the night before in the semi-finals to earn a repeat match up with the Zips.
As I expected, the game was close from the start. Neither team had a lead larger than nine points throughout the game. While Akron led by three points at halftime, and by seven in the second half, Kent State came back and took a 57-54 lead with four minutes remaining in the game. However, their offense would stall from there. A pair of Akron lay-ups gave the Zips a one-point lead, and after Kent State missed a chance to reclaim the lead, Nick Harney split a pair of foul shots, giving the Zips a two-point lead. The Flashes had one last chance to tie or take the lead, but three straight superhoop misses from Randall Holt gave the game to the Zips, who advanced to the title game for the eighth straight season.
AKRON 62, KENT STATE 59
KENT STATE 20-13 (9-7) -- K. Brewer 2-8 4-4 9; R. Holt 7-14 2-2 19; C. Evans 1-11 4-5 6; M. Tabb 2-5 0-0 4; D. Goodson 3-6 2-4 8; B. Pope 3-4 2-2 8; M. Henniger 2-5 1-2 5; D. Manley 0-1 0-0 0; C. Ortiz 0-2 0-0 0; K. Thomas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-56 15-19 59.
AKRON 25-6 (14-2) -- D. Treadwell 6-12 2-9 14; Z. Marshall 7-11 3-6 18; B. Walsh 0-4 2-2 2; N. Harney 4-4 3-6 11; C. Gilliam 2-6 1-2 6; C. Betancourt 0-2 1-2 1; J. Kretzer 1-2 0-0 3; R. McAdams 2-5 1-2 7; P. Forsythe 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-46 13-29 62.
Three-point goals: KENT 4-15 (C. Evans 0-2; R. Holt 3-8; K. Brewer 1-3; C. Ortiz 0-1; D. Goodson 0-1), AKR 5-14 (C. Gilliam 1-3; B. Walsh 0-2; Z. Marshall 1-1; C. Betancourt 0-1; J. Kretzer 1-2; R. McAdams 2-5); Rebounds: KENT 29 (C. Evans 9), AKR 33 (D. Treadwell 12); Assists: KENT 9 (R. Holt 5), AKR 16 (N. Harney 4); Total Fouls -- KENT 25, AKR 17; Fouled Out: KENT-M. Henniger; AKR-None.
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