Akron won its first overtime game of the year, at Ball State 75-70.
The Zips trailed by one with just more than a minute left in overtime. Brett McKnight drained a 3 to recapture the lead. After a failed Ball State possession, Humpty Hitchens made two free throws to all but seal the game.
"Brett McKnight made one when it mattered," coach Keith Dambrot said on the postgame radio show.
Hitchens, who scored a game-high 17 points, also helped out at the end of regulation. He nailed a late 3-pointer to give Akron a two-point lead. The Cardinals' talented post player Jarrod Jones tied the game on the next possession with a hook shot over Nik Cvetinovic.
With a chance to win the game in regulation, both Hitchens and Chris McKnight missed opportunities.
"One thing I was proud of is that we overcame adversity," Dambrot said. "We had two good looks to win the game. It could have been very deflating."
Cvetinovic scored a career high of 15 and also grabbed 10 rebounds. Jones led Ball State with 16 points and eight rebounds. Jimmy Conyers added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Akron.
"We went back and forth; it was a great battle." Cvetinovic said. "We're not much better than anyone else, but we're an experienced team. In the end, we need to play as champions, because we are the MAC Champions."
Akron won, despite trailing Ball State in field goal percentage, 48.3 percent to 35.8 percent. But the Zips won the rebounding battle, 43 to 37.
Without returning home between games, the Zips will travel to Central Michigan for a game on Tuesday at 7 p.m.