AKRON, OH (WOIO) -
Three Akron players scored in double figures as the Zips earned a 67-50 win over the Bowling Green Falcons on Wednesday night in an Mid-American Conference East Divisional showdown at James A. Rhodes Arena.
The victory is No. 350 in the 17-year coaching career of head coach Keith Dambrot (242 at Akron).
Deji Ibitayo led all players in scoring with 15 points to go with two blocked shots and three steals. Noah Robotham added 14 points and four assists, while Pat Forsythe finished with 10 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots.
As a team, Akron (11-5, 2-1 MAC) finished the game shooting 54.5 percent from the field (24-of-44) and 32.0 percent from beyond the arc (8-of-25). Bowling Green (10-4, 2-1 MAC) shot just 32.8 percent (20-of-61), 20.0 percent from long range (4-of-20).
Anthony Henderson led the way for Bowling Green with 11 points, three rebounds and two steals. The Falcons leading scorer, Richaun Holmes, was held to just 10 points after entering the game averaging 14.8 points per contest.
The Zips and Falcons started off the game exchanging baskets. Jake Kretzer hit a 3-pointer off a screen from an assist by Kwan Cheatham, Jr. Bowling Green answered right back to tie the game at seven when Delvin Dickerson grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back up for a lay-up.
Akron started pulling away with a 15-0 scoring to run half way through the first half to give the Zips a 24-11 lead. At the 9:21 mark, Ibitayo stole the ball at half court and took it to the other end for a wide-open dunk.
The Zips continued their offensive success in the first half after Nyles Evans extended the Akron scoring run to 27-2 with a 3-pointer at the 5:20 mark (36-13).
Both teams struggled to keep possession early on in the game, with Akron and Bowling Green committing eight turnovers each in the first half.
The Zips shot 53.8 percent from the field (14-of-26) in the first half and took a 16-point lead (38-22) into halftime.
Akron hit three of their first four shots of the second half, with a pair of 3-pointers from Cheatham and Evans. A long two pointer from Robotham on Akron's next possession gave the Zips a 22 point lead (46-24) just three minutes into the half.
Akron would lead by as many as 24 points in the second half en route to their victory.
Akron will play host to Central Michigan on Saturday, Jan. 17, in a cross-divisional matchup. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. ET.