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BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

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Falcons host conference leading Akron Zips

BG men’s basketball will be defend the Stroh Wednesday when Mid-American Conference leader Akron hops into town to challenge the Falcons.

This match marks the 50th meeting between BG and Akron — Akron leads the series 25-24 in which Akron has won the past seven meetings.

The Falcons are coming off a tough loss at Toledo and are hoping to turn things around in a crucial division matchup. BG is currently tied with Buffalo, Kent State and Miami for third in the MAC-East. Each of those teams has a 2-4 record in conference.

Akron and Ohio are dominating the MAC-East and the entire conference in general. Both teams have 6-0 conference records and 15 wins. Western Michigan leads the West Division with a 4-2 conference record and 12-7 overall.

The Falcons’ battle with the Zips comes in the middle of Akron’s 11-game winning streak. The Zips started the season off with an overtime loss at Coastal Carolina. They defeated John Carroll before travelling to Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan.

The Zips then lost to Oklahoma State in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. However, Akron made a comeback in the tournament and defeated UNC-Asheville and Penn State in the next rounds.

Akron’s only losing streak came on Dec. 9 at No. 16 ranked Creighton and on Dec. 15 at Detroit, a team that BG defeated a few weeks before Akron.

Since losing to the Titans, Akron has defeated the past eleven opponents including Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Cleveland State, Texas Southern, Princeton, Coppin State, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ball State, Kent State, Toledo and Buffalo.

Sophomore Richaun Holmes is edging closer to the BG single-season record for blocks, which has stood at 59 blocks since Cornelius Cash set it during the 1973-74 season. Holmes is also ranked second in the nation in block percentage by blocking 16.7 percent of opponent’s shots while he is on the court.

Akron’s top player is senior center Zeke Marshall and will Holmes on defense. Marshall is ranked fifth nationally in with an average of 3.84 blocks — Holmes is ranked No. 17 on that list with 2.79 blocks per game.

Marshall is fourth in the nation in field goal percentage, making 68.4 percent of his shots. He is behind North Dakota State’s Marshall Bjorklund (71 percent), Stephen F. Austin’s Taylor Smith (69.2 percent) and Ohio’s Reggie Keely (68.9 percent).

Tip-off against Akron is at 7 p.m. at the Stroh Center and the game will be nationally televised on SportsTime Ohio at the same time.

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