Ohio is staring down the first major test in its Mid-American Conference schedule. On Tuesday, it’ll travel to face Akron in James A. Rhodes Arena.
The Bobcats (10-2, 1-0 MAC) are fresh off of a win over Western Michigan during which neither team shot above 40% from the field. Ohio played solid defense, but that alone won’t cut it against Akron.
The Zips (8-3, 1-0 MAC) aren’t a struggling team like the Broncos. They’re on a six-game winning streak and allow the fewest points per game in the conference. Over their last six games, the Zips average 77.2 points per game and are shooting 47.7% from the field.
Here’s what you need to know about the Zips ahead of Tuesday’s matchup:
Venue: James A. Rhodes Arena
Time: 6 p.m.
Watch: CBS Sports Network
Listen: Ohio IMG Sports Network
Live stats: Live stats are provided here.
Meet the opponent
02 Greg Tribble (6-foot-1, 195 pounds)
04 Bryan Trimble Jr. (6-foot-2, 203 pounds)
13 Xavier Castaneda (6-foot-1, 188 pounds)
24 Ali Ali (6-foot-8, 196 pounds)
25 Enrique Freeman (6-foot-7, 206 pounds)
Individual statistical leaders
Points: Ali (14.5 points per game)
Rebounds: Freeman (11.2 rebounds per game)
Assists: Ali (2.7 assists per game)
Field goal percentage: Sekou Kalle (85.7%)
3-point percentage: Ali (45.7%)
Free throw percentage: Castaneda (87.5%)
Team statistical profile
Points per game: 74.4
Rebounds per game: 38.3
Assists per game: 12.6
Turnovers per game: 12.4
Field goal percentage: 45.9%
3-point percentage: 35.5%
Free throw percentage: 65.5%
Akron leads the all-time series 45-41. Although Ohio won the most recent matchup on Feb. 23, 2021, Akron has dominated the series over the past decade. Ohio is 8-15 against Akron since the 2011-12 season, and it has won just two games in James A. Rhodes Arena over that span. Coach Jeff Boals is 1-3 against the Zips during his time with the Bobcats.
Player to watch
Freeman — While lagging behind Ali, Freeman is still the Zips’ second-best scorer with 12.7 points per game. Through 11 games, the forward is shooting 65.5% from the field and leads the MAC in rebounding.
Freeman is also fresh off of a strong performance against Buffalo on Saturday. The sophomore notched 14 points and 10 rebounds in Akron’s first conference game.