On a night I didn't hear a single "defense" chant, Akron displayed plenty of it.
The Zips forced 30 turnovers and held Loyola Marymount to 36 percent shooting in their 92-52 win Friday night at Rhodes Arena.
Also in common Zips fashion, no one player carried the offense. Rather, eight players scored at least eight points.
Dru Joyce played sparingly due to strep throat. Despite the 40-point margin, the team felt his absence with 19 turnovers, compared to 19 assists.
I am confident to say Akron is ready for MAC play to begin. The offense has stuttered at times, but it is still one of the conference's best. The defense is easily top-25 quality.
My main concern now is foul shooting. The Zips were 13 of 22 tonight. The season average is around 64 percent. The Zips' opponents have shot about 70 percent. Just like an extra point in football, free throws are not part of the core concept of the sport, yet they can cost you victories. Romeo Travis, in particular, needs to start making the front end of a one-and-one.
I'll have more on the game tomorrow.
Sarah Tokodi and the Zips dominated on both ends of the court to win their sixth straight against Niagara, a feat unmatched since 1981.
Tokodi finished with 26 points, six assists and four rebounds to help the 69-42 cause.
The Zips (7-5) also used solid defense to keep the Purple Eagles (8-5) to 26 percent shooting.
I think Akron has proven plenty in nonconference play. The real tests will come Wednesday against Bowling Green and Jan. 6 versus Kent State.
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