Akron jumped out to a 26-9 lead over Toledo, and the Zips maintained a similar margin until the final buzzer sounded. Akron won, 59-41.
It was a necessary victory (if they didn't win tonight, there would be SERIOUS problems), but the way the Zips did it was telling -- pouncing on the Rockets early and keeping them at arm's length.
It was an evenly balanced scoring game, with no Zip scoring more than 10, and eight players scoring at least six. The Rockets managed to shoot only 31.9 percent from the floor.
The Zips moved to 4-5 in the MAC. This week's home games will determine whether Akron will have a legitimate shot at a first-round bye. As of now, the Zips are tied with Ohio for the seventh seed.
On Wednesday, Western Michigan comes to Rhodes Arena with a 5-3 league record. The Broncos picked up road wins over Bowling Green and Miami. On Saturday, the MAC West-leading Ball State Cardinals will take their shot at the Zips. Forward Jarrod Jones might be the best big man in the conference.
If Akron wins both of those games, the Zips will sit at 6-5, but equally important, they will have taken two of the teams above them down a notch.