Six players scored at least eight points for Akron, which won in its first matchup against a MAC West team, Western Michigan, 79-70.
The Zips survived a 30-point explosion from conference Player of the Year candidate David Kool. Akron countered with sweet shooting: 53.3 percent from the field, 50 percent on 3s and 74.2 percent from the free-throw line.
Leading Akron were Brett McKnight (11), Jimmy Conyers (11), Chris McKnight (10), Nik Cvetinovic (10), Brett McClanahan (nine) and Steve McNees (eight).
WMU beat Akron on the boards, 35 to 26. The Broncos also forced 19 Akron turnovers. But they couldn't keep up with the Zips' shooting, particularly on 3s, where WMU was 4-of-15.
The Zips return home for a Saturday game against Toledo at 7 p.m.