Akron stakes claim to MAC East lead

Akron stakes claim to MAC East lead

AKRON, Ohio – A career night for Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell helped lift Akron to a 62-54 Mid-American Conference cross-divisional victory over Northern Illinois on Saturday night at James A. Rhodes Arena.

Treadwell's career-high 25 points came with 10 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season, including his ninth in the last 10 games. He finished the night shooting 9-of-12 from the field and 7-of-9 from the free throw line.

Quincy Diggs, Nyles Evans and Jake Kretzer each followed with nine points apiece. Kretzer added seven boards to go with his 3-of-4 performance from the charity stripe.

Jordan Threloff led Northern Illinois (11-13, 5-7) in scoring with 14 points.

Akron (17-8, 9-3) committed 17 turnovers on the night compared to the Huskies' 13, but outscored NIU 22-15 in points off turnovers.

To start the game, the Zips struggled with miscues and put up just seven shot attempts throughout the first 10 minutes.

Akron trailed Northern Illinois by as many as seven after the Huskies posted nine uninterrupted points.

The Zips would recover and use an 11-1 run to take their first lead since the opening buckets. Seven of UA's 11 points came from the line as a Kretzer freebie put the Zips ahead 24-23 with 3:01 left in the first half. The Akron lead would be 28-27 at intermission.

After returning to the floor, UA would hold on to its narrow lead before seven-straight points from Treadwell sparked a 9-3 run that gave the Zips some breathing room. The UA lead would be 49-41 with 8:40 to play.

Akron stayed ahead and led by as many as 10 points with 3:18 on the clock after a Diggs layup. NIU would cut the lead to six (60-54) with just over a minute to go, but the Zips would ice the game at the line.

UA is back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 19, when it travels to Buffalo, N.Y., to take on the Buffalo Bulls. The 7 p.m. ET tip is set to air on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and ESPN3.

Zips Notebook: Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell posted the first 25-point, 10-rebound double-double by a Zip since Chris McKnight against Ohio on Feb. 14, 2010 ... the Zips have a one-game lead over Ohio and Buffalo in the MAC East race while moving into a tie with Western Michigan and Toledo atop the overall conference standings ... Akron has now held opponents to 63 points or less in six-straight games (54.7 ppg).