Akron, Ohio - The Akron men's basketball team improved its home winning streak to 21 games as the Zips defeated Adrian College 95-41 at James A. Rhodes Arena on Wednesday evening.
With the win, Akron improved to 6-1 on the season and 166-23 (.878) at Rhodes Arena under 13th-year head coach Keith Dambrot. In addition, Dambrot collected his 284 win as a Zip, just five away from becoming the all-time winning-est coach in Akron basketball history.
The fire and ice tandum of junior guards Noah Robotham (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Antino Jackson (Houston, Texas) led the Zips in scoring with 17 and 15 points, respectively. Senior forward Kwan Cheatham, Jr. (Cincinnati, Ohio) added eight points and eight rebounds, with five assists and three blocks in just 19 minutes of play.
Davonte Harris led the way for the Bulldogs with 17 points and Isiah Crofford added eight points and four rebounds.
For the game, the Zips shot an impressive 61.7 percent (37of-60) from the field and connected on 51.9 percent (14-of-27) of their shots from behind the arc. Akron converted 87.5 percent (7-of-8) of their free throws. The Bulldogs shot 25 percent (14-of-56) from the floor and hit 21.4 percent (3-of-14) from the three-point line. Adrian shot 71.4 percent (10-of-14) from the charity stripe.
Williams started off the scoring for the Zips, connecting on a triple in the right corner. Jackson followed suit with a three of his own, and Cheatham added a layin to put Akron up 8-0 early in the first half. The Zips forced the Bulldogs to use a timeout after a Cheatham dunk off of an assist from Johnson.
Freshman guard Tavian Dunn-Martin (Huntington, W. Va.) and Williams buried back-to-back threes to push the Zips lead to 21-11 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the first half. A 4-0 run for Adrian brought the Zips lead down to six at the eight-minute media timeout.
Senior center Isaiah Johnson (Cincinnati, Ohio) continued the Zips dominance in the paint with an easy layup, followed by another triple from Jackson that put Akron ahead 26-17. A deep Williams three put Akron ahead 33-19 with just over four minutes left to play in the half. Robotham and freshman Daniel Utomi (Houston, Texas) connected on consecutive triples and the Zips entered the halftime break maintaining 44-21 lead.
Akron held Adrian scoreless for the last 2:18 in the half and collected eight offensive rebounds in the first half of play. The Zips hit more shots from beyond the three-point line (9) than the Bulldogs did from the field (8).
The Zips used a quick 17-2 run to start the second half and forced the Bulldogs to take a timeout to stop the bleeding, with Akron leading 63-23 with 15 minutes left in the game. Robotham scored nine of the 17 points to start half for the Zips.
Jackson buried another triple to extend the Zips lead to 70-23 with 12 minutes left in the game. Two alley-oop layups from freshman Emmanuel Olojakpoke (Houston, Texas) gave the Zips a 49-point lead with 10 minutes left to play.
Dunn-Martin connected on another three and Utomi laid in a fast-break layup to push the Zips lead to 81-32 with just under seven minutes remaining.
Olojakpoke dominated in the final minutes of the game, scoring four points and collecting three rebounds, putting the game out of reach for Adrian, with the Zips winning by a final score of 95-41.
Akron will travel to Omaha, Neb. on Saturday ,Dec. 3, for a showdown with Big East Conference member and the No. 10/12 ranked Creighton Bluejays at the CenturyLink Center Omaha Arena. The Zips face an undefeated, 7-0, Bluejays squad that finished last season with a 94 NCAA RPI rating with 20-15 overall record and 9-9 in Big East play. Creighton advanced to the 2016 NIT Quarterfinal round, defeating Alabama, and Wagner before falling to BYU. Fans can follow the action on Fox Sports 2 (FS2), Akron-IMG Radio broadcast, or GoZips.com. (*AP Top 25/USA Today Top 25)