#527 University of Akron Zipsvs.#528 Central Michigan University Chippewas
Written by David Hess
Akron Zips (12-3 SU, 4-7-0 ATS, 5-6-0 OU) vs Central Michigan Chippewas (10-4 SU, 6-5-0 ATS, 8-3-0 OU)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Where: McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Lines: Akron -3
College basketball action on Tuesday evening and the Akron Zips will tangle with the Central Michigan Chippewas at McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The Zips have won their last five games in a row, including a 66-59 home win over Western Michigan in their last game, while the Chippewas are off an 87-83 loss at Northern Illinois.
The Akron Zips have had a nice start to their as they are 12-3 overall and they have started MAC play with a 2-0 record. Their first league win was an 89-84 home win over Bowling Green and they followed that up with a 66-59 home win over Western Michigan. It was one of their lower scoring games so far, but still they grabbed the win. The Zips shot 44.6% from the field in the game overall, but just 24.1% from long range. They were led by Isaiah Johnson, who had 16 points, while 2nd was Kwan Cheatham Jr. at 14 points and rounding out the double-digit scorers was Jimond Ivey, who had 13. Akron has been a solid defensive squad this year and it really was their defense that won this game as they allowed just 42.1% shooting, including 37.5% from long range. They were also aided by the fact that the Broncos were just five of 13 from the charity stripe. Akron has six players that have averaged at least 8.5 ppg and they have been led by Isaiah Johnson, who has averaged 14.9 ppg, while 2nd is Jimond Ivey at 10.5 ppg and 3rd is Noah Robotham at 10.1 ppg.
Akron comes in ranked 80th in the nation in scoring, putting up just 78.6 ppg, while also ranking 31st in shooting overall (48.6%), 56th in 3-point shooting (38.6%) and 156th in free throw shooting (70.1%). At the defensive end of the floor they have been solid as they come in ranked 85th in points allowed, giving up just 67.7 ppg, while also ranking 198th in defensive FG% (43.5%) and 178th in 3-point defense (34.6%).
The Central Michigan Chippewas have started out at 0-2 in the MAC and have allowed 85 and 87 points in those games. This team can score plenty, but until they learn to play some defense, then they will struggle, especially when they take on a team that can pay defense. In their last game they faced the Northern Illinois Huskies and that is a team that can play some defense and while the Chippewas put up 83 on them, they also allowed 87. The Chippewas shot just 35.1% from the field overall and they missed 14 FTs in the game, which is a killer in a close game. The defense wasn’t horrible as they allowed just 38.4% shooting overall and just 20% from long range. Their struggles at the line really is what did them in this game. Leading their attack was Braylon Rayson, who had 29 points, while David DiLeo, was 2nd with 22 and Marcus Keene chipped in with 14. Keene averages 29.0 ppg, which leads the nation, but he was just four of 10 from the charity stripe, which is not normal for him as he is hitting 80% for the year.
Central Michigan checks in at 7th in the nation in scoring, putting up just 88.8 ppg, while also ranking 286th in shooting overall (41.9%), 202nd in 3-point shooting (34.7%) and 15th in free throw shooting (77.0%). At the defensive end of the floor they have been very poor as they come in ranked 331st in points allowed, giving up 81.2 ppg, while also ranking 192nd in defensive FG% (43.4%) and 40th in 3-point defense (30.5%).
Central Michigan is:
The Zips come in playing well at the moment, but the Chippewas are 6-0 at home for the year so far. The Chipps do get the edge on offense, but the Zips have a huge edge at the defensive end of the floor and I feel that that is where the game will be won for them. Akron is 8-2 ATS the last 10 in the series and the favorite is 4-0 ATS the last four. The Chipps just won’t come up with enough defense to with this game. Look for Akron to win the game by at least seven points.
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