Akron reminded its fans tonight how the Zips will win: defense.
St. Francis shot just 24 percent in Akron's 79-44 blow-out victory.
Without Romeo Travis, who was suspended for violating team rules, Akron also won the rebounding battle, despite a size disadvantage. Quade Milum stepped up with a double-double (10 rebounds and 10 points). Coach Keith Dambrot said Travis will play against Nevada.
Akron had six players score at least nine points. Jimmy Conyers may have stepped into Nate Linhart's role as the top small forward. Conyers looked more comfortable tonight, scoring nine and grabbing five rebounds. I'm just waiting for him to have an explosive "coming out" game.
I hate to be a downer, but the final minutes of the game bothered me. While the Zips held a lead around 30, the backups fired up 3s and played offense like it was an all-star game. I realize it's the only time they get to play, but running up the score in garbage time is bush league.
The athletic department, however, had to be pleased with how many teddy bears fans threw on the floor at halftime. The announced total was 370 if I'm not mistaken.
Who would have imagined the women's basketball team would have more wins than the football team this year?
Akron beat St. Francis tonight, 71-54. The Zips (6-5) now boast a five-game winning streak, their longest since I was 10 years old (1995).
The team played scrappy defense and seemed to hustle more for loose balls tonight. Freshman power forward Riana Miller dropped 16 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore forward Niki McCoy scored 21. Freshman point guard Sarah Tokodi is an exciting player to watch. She added 14.
Notice I mentioned their rank. These underclassmen are going to make this team good and possibly challenge for a MAC Championship in two years. Also notice I said in two years. Although the Zips have sliced through some weak competition, the conference season won't be so good to them. In fact, coach Jodi Kest should be thrilled with a .500 record in the MAC.
Just remember that this young trio will make women's basketball at UA matter someday.