After a sluggish start, the Zips finally picked up the pace and blew the game open in the second half.
When you look at the final score, you wouldn't believe me if I told you that Akron was once down 22-8 late in the first half. The Zips played probably the worst half they could have: eight turnovers, missed shots aplenty, and general careless play. In short, it looked like a team that was on its third game in five days.
Then the second half came.
Here's how it started:
Akron scored the first nine points of the first half and never looked back. The threes came in threes, as just two minutes after the first barrage of deep shots came the second round. Deji Ibitayo
, then Diggs again, then Jake Kretzer. Detroit couldn't stop it and the Zips just kept hitting. Those threes pushed the lead to nine, before one more flurry of threes came back to back from Kretzer and then Evans finished it off.
A break away layup by Nick Harney
gave Akron its largest lead at nineteen, equaling a 33 point turnaround from the first half. It was just an amazing display of how good this basketball team can be when hitting on all cylinders. Some teams struggle to score 58 points in a game (looking at you 2012-2013 Eastern Michigan), but the Zips got that in the second half alone. Yes, some of that was the defensive ineptitude of the Titans, but Akron is hitting their stride now after playing more games as a unit.
absolutely balled out, scoring a career high 22 points and collecting 13 rebounds. He went 12-15 at the free throw line which is amazing in itself considering he's hitting just 56% of his free throws this year. Nyles Evans looks to be the point guard of the future, as he put up seventeen points, five boards and three assists. He's really stepping into his role, and it looks like Carmelo Betancourt's future is up in the air.
The Zips hit an incredible 52% of three point field goals (11-21) and that really won the game in the second half. Bench scoring came through for Akron again, as they outscored Detroit 46-21. This was one that Akron really wanted, as Detroit beat the Zips last year in Calihan Hall in Detroit. It's clear that bench scoring and three point offense are the strengths of this team and it'll be what will carry them to success in conference play.
The Zips are now 5-2 and have won four in a row. They head to Hawaii to play in the Diamond Head Classic on Sunday, with Oregon State as the first round match-up. The rumor is that the President may be in the audience for that game, as his brother-in-law is the Head Coach of the Beavers. I'm sure that won't be a distraction.