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Akron never trails in 67-58 victory over Ohio

Zips remain undefeated in MAC play

AKRON Mid-American Conference leading Akron led basically from start to finish, beating Ohio 67-58 on Tuesday night at James A. Rhodes Arena.

The Zips (15-4, 7-0 MAC) never trailed and took a 12-4 lead in the first nine minutes. From there, the Bobcats made runs but never got closer than three and only as close as five in the final minutes.

Shareef Mithcell paced Ohio (9-10, 3-4 MAC) with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Jaylin Hunter had 11 points and six rebounds. AJ Clayton and Miles Brown added 10 and nine points, respectively.

Enrique Freeman paced Akron with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Greg Tribble and Shammah Scott had 10 points each.

With the Bobcats struggling offensively early, the zips led 22-10 following a Tribble three-point play at the 7:16 mark in the first half. The Zips had their lead cut to 25-20 and eventually took a 35-26 halftime lead following a Sammy Hunter 3-pointer.

Mitchell hit a 3-pointer in the first couple of minutes of the second half that got Ohio to within 35-32. After trading baskets with the Bobcats for a few possessions, the Zips were able to push their lead out to 54-45 with 9:07 left and then went up 61-51 on a Freeman free throw with 3:41 to go. Aidan Hadaway made two free throws and Miles Brown converted a three-point play to cut the deficit in half with still 1:43 to play, but Ohio got no closer.

Although Akron shot just 41.9% for the game, it was 8 of 18 from long range and made 23 of 29 free throws. Ohio shot just 38.9%, including 6 of 21 3-pointers, and was good on 10 of 13 foul shots.

After missing a couple of games, Elmore James returned to play 14 minutes off the bench, scoring two points on 1-of-5 shooting.

The Bobcats remain on the road to face Kent State at 6:30 p.m. Friday on CBS Sports Network.

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