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Men’s hoops broken hearted

Dru Joyce’s uncontested lay-up with 0.2 seconds left propelled visiting Akron to a 71-69 victory over the Falcons.

The Zips had possession after John Reimold sank two free throws to tie the score at 69 with 13.9 seconds remaining. Mario Collins dished to Joyce at the top of key and, going to his right, Joyce broke through the BG defense and found himself alone for the easy basket.

“In that situation when it’s tied up at the end of the game, we always want to get the last shot and they called the play for me in the huddle,” said Joyce after making his first career game-winner. “We felt that it was a play that would work ‘cuz it wasn’t a ball screen, it was kind of just like a rub, like almost a moving screen. (BG) really didn’t react to it as well as they should’ve. They probably should’ve switched and I just got in the lane, and I got a clean look at a shot.”

The Falcons led by as much as six in the second half, but were unable to come up with big plays down the stretch. Nothing left BG head coach Dan Dakich as frustrated as the last shot.

“We talked about not letting the ball get driven into the middle, we talked about not letting Joyce go to his right hand and then not getting split, and all three happened,” Dakich said.

Though Reimold was able to connect on his late free throws, he committed a crucial turnover when his inbound pass intended for Josh Almanson sailed out of bounds over Almanson’s head with the score knotted at 67 with 1:04 left.

“We (had) seniors mess up on an inbound against the press and that’s just inexcusable,” Dakich said.

The turnover allowed the Zips to take the lead after Romeo Travis hit a pair from the line.

With leading scorer Darryl Peterson (15.6 points per game) held scoreless in the contest, Akron received a huge boost from their bench, which outscored the Falcons bench 33-2. Mario Collins was the key reserve, dropping a career-high 13 points and four assists in 27 minutes.

Almanson led all scorers with 21 on 7 of 12 shooting from the floor.

Reimold got off to a hot start, scoring the Falcons first six points of the game, and finished with 18.

Bubba Walther was the high scorer for the Zips with 15, including three treys. Forward Romeo Travis was held in check for most of the game, but scored seven of his 13 points in the final minutes of regulation. He also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, with four coming on the offensive end.

BG started strong as Reimold and Almanson combined to score the teams first 14 points of the game and built a lead as high as 10 at 26-16.

Akron upped their pressure defensively and forced 12 turnovers in the first half to lead by five at the break.

“The key point in the game, in my opinion, was the first half when we had a chance with a 10-point lead and playing good defense to at least control the game a little bit. We didn’t … and then we were fighting back,” Dakich said.

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