The University of Akron men’s basketball team might feel fortunate to get out of Muncie, Ind. with a win against the Ball State Cardinals. The fought the Cardinals, the referees and themselves in the 72-68 victory. Occasionally dominant as they held a 15-point lead at one point, alternately frustrating when they allowed that first half lead to narrow to six points at halftime and maddening when they actually went down 47-45, it’s not the best way to start off a title defense, but a win is a win is a… Here are five numbers – good and bad that tells the game’s story.
8: UA kept the turnovers to a minimum turning the ball over just eight times during the course of the game. Considering they arrived at Worthen Arena averaging 14.3 per game to almost cut that in half is huge, especially given the tightness of the game.
13: The team’s three-point percentage for the game. They clinked them as if they were hurling bricks. For the record, this is not a good thing. File it. Forget it.
24. The number of free throw shots that the Zips got. Seems generous, right? At one point, however, the Cardinals really enjoyed some hometown cooking. They had more than double the number of free throw shots than the Zips as the refs seemed to be calling them for sneezing in the general direction of a Ball State player. Certainly the new rules had an effect.
“I thought this game was called the closest of any game we’ve played all year,” Dambrot said.
29: The number of fouls called on the Zips. (Also see above and below).
34: The number of trips to the charity stripe for the Cardinals.