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AJ Clayton (23) shoots the ball at the Ohio University vs Kent State University Men's Basketball Game at The Convo in Athens, Feb. 20, 2024.

Men's Basketball: Ohio faces first-place Akron in The Convo

Ohio (15-12, 9-5 Mid-American Conference) is currently on a six-game winning streak at home. In that span, though, Ohio has not faced a team as difficult as it will face on Tuesday. Even with a close road loss to Toledo last week, Akron (20-7, 12-2 MAC) remains atop the conference standings.

The Zips and Bobcats already matched up against each other in late January in a low-scoring game that saw the Zips come out on top 67-58.

Here is all you need to know before the game:

Game Information

Opponent: Akron

Date and time: Tuesday at 7 p.m.

How to watch: ESPN +

Statistical Leaders:

Points: Enrique Freeman (18.3 per game)

Rebounds: Freeman (13 per game)

Assists: Kaleb Thornton (2.56 per game)

Steals: Mikai Dawsom (.96 per game)

Blocks: Freeman (1.4 per game)

Field-Goal Percentage: Freeman (58.5)

3-point Percentage: Tavari Johnson (48.8)

Free-throw Percentage: Sammy Hunter (85.2)

First Matchup:

Falling as much as 12 down against the Zips in the first half, the Bobcats did a solid job of hanging around the Zips' lead throughout the first matchup. The Bobcats cut the Zips' lead down to three on several occasions but could never tie or take the lead in the second half. 

Poor shooting from the field and 3-point range doomed Ohio in the first game. Ohio shot 38.9% from the field in the first game, but Akron didn't fare much better. Akron made fewer shots than Ohio on a slightly higher percentage but made 13 more free throws than Ohio to win the game.

Keys to the game:

If Ohio can create and make open looks from beyond the arc like it has been able to in its most recent games, the team will certainly have an opportunity to pull off the upset. The Bobcats did a good job of forcing Freeman and Ali Ali to be inefficient from the field as the duo combined for 6 of 17 from the field, but they struggled to guard Freeman, who took 14 free throws without fouling. The Bobcats will have to make 3-point attempts and guard Ali and Freeman well to win the game.


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