The University of Akron men’s basketball team needed a solid effort to break a two-game losing streak.



Instead, they delivered a borderline spectacular display that nearly resulted in a first-half knockout.



The Zips (22-7, 11-5 in Mid-American Conference) led by 26 in the first half and buried Bowling Green 89-54 at Rhodes Arena on Friday night.



More importantly, as the battle for the East Division title continues and with the Mid-American Conference Tournament on the horizon, key members of the team who’d been struggling also bounced back.



Forward Reggie McAdams, who scored in single digits against Kent State and Miami, answered with 29 points in the game. He dropped 21 of those points in the first half. McAdams, who’d been dealing with back issues, connected on 7-of-10 from behind the 3-point arc. He made no excuses for his recent struggles.



“Sometimes you’ve got it, sometimes you don’t,” McAdams said.



UA coach Keith Dambrot said some of the blame could be put on the team.



“We’ve got to get him the ball,” Dambrot said. “He’s a 41 percent 3-point shooter.”



Forward Kwan Cheatham Jr. joined in with 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-3 from behind the arc.



Zack Denny led Bowling Green (14-15, 5-11 in MAC) with 16 points.



What was different for the Zips was a sense of urgency that didn’t exist against Miami, especially on the defensive end. Despite missing a huge piece in the middle in center Pat Forsythe, UA came up big defensively.



They held the Falcons to 42 percent shooting and connected on 48 percent of their shots. The Zips made 19-of-41 3-pointers. The 41 attempts were a season high.



“They did a really good job of finding the open man,” Falcons coach Michael Huger said. “We did a poor job.”



The Zips forced 16 Bowling Green turnovers, including 11 steals, that led to 29 points.



“We caused the turnovers,” Huger said of his team.



He said the Falcons played as if they were on vacation and didn’t realize the magnitude of the game.



UA showed a definite difference in defensive intensity.



“When the ball goes in,” Dambrot said, “guys feel good and that end [defensively] becomes more important,”



The Zips shut off the lanes to the rim for the most part, allowing just 26 points in the paint. UA also won the rebounding battle 37-26, including besting Bowling Green 8-3 on the offensive boards.



George M. Thomas can be reached at gmthomas@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Zips blog at www.ohio.com/zips. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ.