For the second time in three games, the Akron Zips forced overtime, this time falling 69-65 to Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals of the 2012 Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Thursday.
Akron opened the extra period with four points from Marshall, before he was called for hit fifth foul with 2:45 remaining in OT. Following a defensive stop, the Zips missed two open shots to push their lead to six or seven. Oklahoma State's Phil Forte would cut the UA lead to one with a 3-ball and later game the Cowboys a two-point lead (67-65) with three free throws.
Alex Abreu's layup attempt with 22 seconds remaining would not fall as the Cowboys would seal the game at the line.
Brian Walsh led Akron (1-2) with his first-career double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 boards. Zeke Marshall also added a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. It was the first time since March 13, 2010, that two UA players recorded double-doubles in the same game.
Abreu added 13 points and six dimes as Jake Kretzer rounded out the four Zips in double figures with 10 points and eight boards. For the game, Akron shot 30.0 percent from the floor (12-of-70) and 30.8 percent from long range (8-of-26).
Oklahoma State (2-0) closed the contest hitting 37.5 percent from the floor (21-of-56) and an identical 30.8 percent from behind the arc (4-of-13). UA out-rebounded OSU 45-43 and committed few turnovers (13 to 16).
Le'Bryan Nash led the Cowboys with a game-high 18 points.
Neither team gained much of an advantage until OSU used a 10-0 run over a four-minute stretch to grab a 47-40 lead (12:44). The Zips used four free throws to close within 49-43 before OSU opened up a 53-43 lead with 9:40 remaining.
Akron began chipping away at the deficit at the charity stripe, hitting five freebies to close the gap to 53-48 with 6:00 left. The run forced the Cowboys to call timeout.
Despite going nearly 11-and-a-half minutes without a bucket from the field, Akron as able to claw its way back into the game. The Zips' defense held the Cowboys without a field goal for the final 2:40 of regulation, scoring the final five points to force overtime.
The Zips had some early-game jitters, falling behind 5-0, but came back to take a 10-7 lead heading into the under-16 media timeout. Abreu scored Akron's first five points while Deji Ibitayo and Pat Forsythe added the other five.
Oklahoma State used a 10-1 run to open up a 19-13 advantage before the Zips closed to within one (19-18) by the under-8 media timeout (7:35). Abreu gave UA the lead on its next possession.
The Cowboys would answer and grabbed a 30-23 advantage with 4:15 remaining in the opening half. The Zips would score nine of the last 12 points and would head to the locker room down 33-32.
Walsh led the Zips with eight points in the first 20 minutes on 3-of-7 shooting. Abreu and Kretzer pitched in with seven points each. The Zips shot 37.5 percent from the floor (12-of-32) and forced 10 OSU turnovers. The Cowboys shot 43.5 percent (10-of-23) and held a 20-15 advantage on the boards.
The Zips will play the winner of the Tennessee-UNC Asheville game on Friday beginning at 1 p.m.