AKRON, Ohio – The Akron Zips opened the 2013-2014 season with a 95-40 victory over the Bluffton Beavers in an exhibition contest at James A. Rhodes Arena on Friday night in front of a crowd of 3,286.
Nick Harney was a force for the Zips' offense as he led all scorers with 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 from the charity stripe. He was the first to find the net and posted 17 of his 21 points in the first half.
As a team, Akron closed the night shooting 56.9 percent from the floor (41-of-72) and 42.1 percent from long range (8-of-19). On the defensive side of the ball, the Zips held Bluffton to just 29.8 percent shooting (14-of-47).
The Zips forced 27 turnovers – including 17 steals – and held a 39-31 advantage on the boards. Akron had 20 assists to just nine turnovers.
Will Pope and Billy Taflinger each posted nine points for the Beavers.
After a slow start by both teams, the Zips used a 23-6 run over the final 7:29 of the first half to take a 45-21 lead into the locker room.
UA shot 54.3 percent, connecting on 19-of-35 shots from the field, to Bluffton's 24.0 percent over the first 20 minutes of play.
Following halftime, the Zips remained in control as they held the Beavers to just 19 points in the second half.
The Zips begin regular season play on Friday, Nov. 8, when they play host Coastal Carolina at Rhodes Arena. The game will be part of a doubleheader following the women's contest against Florida Atlantic and is set for an 8 p.m. ET tip.