BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- The Akron Zips lost their second straight game, 66-65, to Bowling Green on Tuesday night in the Stroh Center, leaving their Mid-American Conference title in jeopardy.
The little things have been key for the Zips (22-6, 12-3) all season but in the back-to-back losses the opposition has held the upper hand. For the second straight game, for example, the Zips had more turnovers than the Falcons, 14-8.
And even while holding BG to 30.3-percent shooting in the second half, and 41.0-percent for the game, Akron was even worse. The Zips finished at 35.9-percent in part going 9-for-30 behind the arc.
The Falcons (12-16, 6-9) were better in the paint than Akron (30-26), and outscored Akron 18-7 off turnovers and 18-4 on fast breaks. All season long that has been Akron's strength, but not against Bowling Green.
This now makes Akron's upcoming road trip to Buffalo a must-win, even with the Bulls coming off an upset loss at home to Kent State.
Dylan Frye led BG with 22 points and Zach Denny had 20. Jimond Ivey led Akron with 13 points.
The first half: The Zips began the game short of firepower as sophomore guard Josh Williams, who suffered a twisted ankle against Kent State, was in sweats, but not in uniform. He's averaging 7.4 points a game.
Akron still took a quick 11-5 lead, but just as quickly turned cold. Two extended stretches of more than four scoreless minutes combined with a 14-0 run by the Falcons put the Zips into a 6-29 hole at halftime.
Missing the bulk of that half was power forward Kwan Cheatham who asked out of the game after badly missing a 3-point attempt, playing just nine first-half minutes. The Falcons took advantage as guards Zach Denny and Dylan Frye already had 11 and 12 points respectively.
By the numbers: Akron freshman Daniel Utomi entered the Bowling Green game on a sizzling 3-point shooting streak. Overall in his previous three games, Utomi, a 6-6 forward from Houston, made 9-of-11 3-pointers; 4-for-4 against Kent State, 0-for-2 against Toledo and 5-for-5 against Eastern Michigan. He entered the game shooting 50-percent on the season (22-of-44) including 18-of-33 on the season behind the arc (54.5-percent) in MAC play.
Next up: Bowling Green plays two of its final three games on the road starting Saturday at Miami and next Friday at Buffalo with a senior night game on Feb. 28 against Kent State in between. The Zips stay on the road, 8 p.m. Friday at Buffalo, then the last home game of the season on Tuesday vs. Miami, then next Friday at Kent State.
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