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First off, Toledo beat Kent State 59-56 today with a flurry of scoring in the final minute. An Akron win would create a three-way tie with Western Michigan, KSU and Akron.
Attendance looks pretty good, considering it's Eastern Michigan.
The Zips are 14-point
favorites. I never wrote a prediction, but you can bet the Zips will cover.
The coaching staff is going casual dress today.
Jeff Boals is wearing warmups.
Rick McFadden and
Lamont Paris have a T-shirt.
Keith Dambrot is sporting a polo shirt.
Akron's starting lineup:
Quade Milum and
Mike Bardo. To quote
Tom Gaffney: "That's a weird lineup."
The Zips are harassing EMU with a full-court press.
Jeremiah Wood and
Cedrick Middleton entered the game.
They announced a lot of nontraditional students are at the game. They make up 40 percent of the student population (and 90 percent of the irrelevant comments in class).
In other MAC action, Miami won at Ball State, Ohio won at Northern Illinois and Western Michigan held its home floor against Bowling Green. Buffalo is playing at Central Michigan right now.
Tim Carroll just entered the game about 35 minutes sooner than usual. He only played for a minute before Linhart replaced him.
The referees just made an interesting call. EMU's
Jarred Axon plowed over
Steve McNees on a drive. They counted the made layup and called a foul on Axon.
I think it makes sense for the Zips to use a full-court press. It allows Dambrot to take advantage of his depth.
Dambrot's voice sounds completely shot. He has been reduced to a hoarse whisper.
Wood just clunked a free throw that would have been the 1,000th point of his career.
Nick Goddard just entered the game -- about 25 minutes sooner than usual. He made one 3 and missed another.
McNees played solid ball defense on
Carlos Medlock, EMU's leading scorer who has only one field goal.
Goddard made a couple free throws before Middleton replaced him.
Wood just made a free throw for his 1,000th point. A second swish took him to 1,001.
Middleton drilled a 3 at the end of the half. He tilted his head back after making it, as if to say "finally!"
Web site has a roster with something I've never seen before. Instead of the traditional "G," "F" and "C" designations, they have a "W," which presumably stands for "wing."
Bardo is becoming more and more serviceable each game. He is a real battler on the boards and also an aggressive defender.
Elton Alexander is absent from tonight's game. I believe he was covering the Kent State game. Still, the PD sent another reporter in Elton's place. That shows quite a commitment to covering Akron from the PD's editors.
EMU has missed nine-straight 3-pointers after starting out 4-of-10.
The Zips went on a 16-0 run to widen the gap.
Dials leads both teams with six assists. Wood leads both teams with nine rebounds. Medlock is the game leader with 11 points.
Wood's shot is pretty ugly. The reason is that he releases the ball on his descent, rather than as he's rising on the jump.
Knock on wood, but the free throws have become a strength, rather than liability -- as they were early in the season. The Zips are 19-of-22 tonight.
Buffalo leads at Central Michigan, 63-61, with six minutes left.
EMU has shot 32 3-pointers and made nine. Akron has made 10 on 10 fewer attempts.
The Eagles have three players in double figures: Medlock (11),
Tyler Jones (15) and Axon (14). Akron also has three in double figures: Linhart (12), Wood (10) and Dials (10).
The Zips have begun to bleed out the clock on offense. The Eagles don't seem to mind. They aren't anywhere near the ballhandler. It's kind of pathetic to give up like that.
Carroll and Goddard re-entered the game.
A 3-pointer here will get everyone free wings at Scorchers. Goddard drilled it from the "F" on the FirstEnergy logo.
Final score -- Akron 80, Eastern Michigan 61