The Zips led the nation's 20th best team by five at halftime.
Minnesota closed the gap, went on an 8-0 run and never looked back, winning 66-58.
Gophers forward Trevor Mbakwe and Akron's Nik Cvetinovic each had double-doubles. It's nearly impossible to beat a top team on the road shooting 34.9 percent like Akron did.
The Zips return home Saturday for a 2 p.m. game against Bethune-Cookman.