Akron Completes Regular Season Sweep of Kent State

Written by on February 27, 2024

Just over a month after beating Kent State on the road, Akron again defeated the Golden Flashes, this time at home.

In what many analysts call the best mid-major rivalry, Akron jumped out on top, just like they did in the first matchup.as they scored nine points in the first ten minutes and change.

Star Akron forward and MAC player of the year favorite Enrique Freeman made his impact felt, 

In conference play, Kent State has had issues starting off strong, and this game was no different, dominating the post early on. He put himself into foul trouble, and the Flashes capitalized when he had to sit the bench, cutting the Akron lead to one.

However, a Zips basket followed by a Greg Tribble Junior steal and dunk pushed the lead back up to five at halftime, with the home team on top 32-27.

The early minutes of the second half felt similar to the early minutes of the first, as Kent State’s offense struggled to be productive while Akron kept their pace.

The Flashes’ offense did wake up, and the difference was down to just two points, but the Zips began to make plays and get lucky bounces, pushing the lead to double digits.

Kent State would battle for a while, cutting the lead to five or less on multiple occasions, but every time they did, Akron had an answer. 

The Zips pulled away in the closing minutes, winning 83-70, and keeping their 2023-24 home record unblemished. 

On the same night, Toledo lost to Bowling Green, breaking the first place tie and putting the Zips one game ahead of the Rockets.

The main issues for the Flashes is that they can’t put two good quality halves of basketball together. Their first half defense was solid, but their offense only scored 27. In the second half they had a good offensive performance, scoring 43, but it was overshadowed by the 51 points that they gave up. This has been the story since they started conference play.

The top eight teams in the Mid-American Conference make the conference tournament, and Akron is in control of first place. Kent State is fighting just to make it, but should they make it, there is a chance that they could face Akron in the first round.

Kent State does in fact have it in them to beat Akron. They simply have to play a clean game of basketball, make the open shots, and not turn the ball over more than they should. If they can do that, they might just pull the upset.

Photo Courtesy: Yasmeen Mattews

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