#528 University of Akron Zipsvs.#527 Kent State University Golden Flashes
Written by David Hess
Kent State Golden Flashes (14-12 SU, 8-12-2 ATS, 13-9-0 OU) vs Akron Zips (22-4 SU, 9-13-0 ATS, 12-10-0 OU)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, February 17, 2017
Where: James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron, Ohio
Lines: Akron -8.5
College hoops action within the MAC Conference this evening as the Kent State Golden Flashes do battle with the Akron Zips at James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron, Ohio. The Golden Flashes come in off a 76-72 home win over Miami-Ohio, while the Zips come in of a 71-65 home win over Toledo. The Under is 5-0 the last five meetings between these teams here in Akron.
The Kent State Golden Flashes have gone 14-12 on the year overall, but they are just 6-7 within the MAC for the year so far. They come in off a 76-72 home win over Miami-Ohio, but still they are just 1-2 in their last three games. They have now gone 8-5 at home, while on the road they are just 4-5 on the year so far. In the win over the Redhawks, they didn’t shoot the ball all that well in the game and they did allow the Redhawks to hit 46.4% of their shots from the field overall, but the Golden Flashes did win the turnover battle by four and they outscored the Redhawks by three points at the charity stripe and by three points from beyond the arc. Leading their attack in the game was leading scorer Jimmy Hall (18.0 ppg), who had 21 points and nine boards in the game, while Jaylin Walker had 20 points and Mitch Peterson had 11 to round out their double-digit scorers in the game.
The Golden Flashes have averaged 77.2 ppg and have allowed 78.1 ppg in league play this year, while in true road games for the year they have averaged 67.2 ppg and have allowed 71.9 ppg. Kent State enters this game ranked 80th in the nation in scoring, putting up 77.8 ppg, while also ranking 256th in FG% (42.9%), 302nd in 3-point shooting (32.0%) and 104th in free throw shooting (72.3%). At the defensive end of the floor they have been very average as they come in ranked 196th in points allowed, giving up 72.8 ppg, while also ranking 162nd in defensive FG% (43.2%) and 193rd in 3-point defense (35.1%).
The Akron Zips are by far the best team in the MAC this year so far as they have gone 12-1 in league play, while the next closest team in the MAC is Ohio and Buffalo, who are both at 8-5 on the year. The Bobcats are the only team to hand the Zips a league loss this year. That loss was on the road and they are 13-0 here at home for the year. Despite their strong record this year overall, they have been playing many close games of late as their last five wins have come by an average of just 4.6 ppg. The Zips are off a 71-65 home win over Toledo and it was their defense that really played well against the high-scoring Rockets. They allowed Toledo to hit just 43.4% of their shots in the game, while winning the turnover battle by four. On offense, they didn’t shoot the ball well as they hit just 41.3% of their shots overall and just 35.5% of their shots from long range, but still, they did outscore the Rockets by six points from beyond the arc and that was the difference in the game. Leading their attack in the game was Kwan Cheatham Jr., who has 21 points, while Isaiah Johnson had 18 points and Aaron Jackson chipped in with 13.
The Zips have put up 79.7 ppg and have allowed 67.8 ppg at home for the year so far, while in conference play overall they have averaged 78.5 ppg and have allowed 73.9 ppg. Akron comes in ranked 63rd in the nation in scoring, putting up 78.7 ppg, while also ranking 41st in shooting overall (47.6%), 47th in 3-point shooting (38.3%) and 254th in free throw shooting (67.5%). At the defensive end of the floor they have been decent as they come in ranked 134th in points allowed, giving up just 70.5 ppg, while also ranking 213th in defensive FG% (44.5%) and 298th in 3-point defense (37.3%).
Kent State is:
This is a tough one as the Zips have not been blowing teams out of late and just three of their 12 conference wins have been by more than nine points so far. Can they cover this 8.5 spread? I’m going to say no. Kent state has not had a great year so far, but they have won three of their last four games outright on the road and just two of their last six losses have been by more than seven points. I look for them to keep this one within seven points as well.
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