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Gaffney: Tough task tonight

By mrasor Published: January 11, 2007

Men's basketball

Although Miami doesn't score a lot and its record is just 5-8, the Zips will need to fight hard to beat the RedHawks tonight at Rhodes Arena, the ABJ's Tom Gaffney writes.

  • Miami coach Charlie Coles expects Akron, who leads the MAC in steals, to pressure point guards Alex Moosmann and Eric Pollitz in the backcourt to create turnovers. Kent State nearly pulled off a road victory by doing that on Saturday.

  • MU center Monty St. Clair will miss tonight's game with his foot injury. Tyler Dierkers will start again in his place.

  • The spread is Akron minus nine with the over-under at 121.

  • Adam Ferrise says the Zips won't cover, but win 68-63.

In the Keith Dambrot era, Akron has fought two close duels with Miami at Rhodes Arena. Last year, the Zips pulled out a seven-point win. In Dambrot's first season, Akron won by six. Home or away, they have all been low-scoring games.

If you're looking for betting advice, I'd take the under. Picking the spread is trickier. I like the Zips only because I hate taking the underdog against the spread if I think the 'dog has no chance to win outright.

Miami should make it competitive, but you know Akron will have a scoring surge sometime in the second half to pull away. It should be a defensive showdown for sure.

Prediction: Akron 64, Miami 52

Women's basketball

Akron showed signs it possibly might be as good as its nonconference record last night at Miami.

The Zips (7-8, 0-3 MAC) played close against the MAC-leading RedHawks (9-7, 3-0), but lost 79-73.

Niki McCoy scored 24 and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Zips in the offensive shootout.

Of course, the Zips need to win some of these conference games eventually. However, it should be a relief to fans that Akron actually can be competitive in the MAC.

The next barometer reading comes Saturday afternoon at Buffalo.


As first reported on, Pittsburgh linebacker Aaron Williams chose to play football at Akron.

The 6-foot, 196-pounder said the decision came down to UA and Toledo. In one of the stranger quotes I've seen, Williams told, "Toledo was almost too perfect for me. I thought if I went there, I wouldn't get my work done and just be having fun all the time."

Buffalo also offered the two-star recruit a scholarship. Williams had interest in Michigan State, Pittsburgh and Marshall. gives Williams three stars and calls him the 23rd best weakside linebacker in the nation. (I really don't see the point in dividing linebackers that way. How about just inside linebackers and outside linebackers? Whatever.)

Williams also played running back at Penn Hills High School. He gained 1,189 and scored 12 touchdowns on 195 carries as a senior.

  • As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Vincent Hill, a top wide receiver prospect who committed to Akron in the summer, is wavering in his verbal commitment. After a terrific senior season with 1,500 yards and 22 touchdowns, he gained some offers, namely Virginia. He says his decision will come down to Akron and UVa. He will visit campus on Jan. 19, then travel to Charlottesville, Va. the week after. Keeping Hill would be a huge boost to this recruiting class. A month ago, Hill was leaning toward Virginia. Because he could play as a true freshman, the Zips probably moved ahead by a sliver.
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