Akron loses big to FAU

Boca Raton, FLA. – The FAU Fighting Owls came prepared to the Boca Raton Bowl, and Akron Zips simply did not. Heading into the game, the Zips were the underdogs in the largest differential in a spread in Bowl history, with a spread of 22.5. The Owls were headed by first year head coach Lane Kiffin, and he capped off his first season in the same fashion that he played all year while leading his team to a 10-3 record.

The final score to the game was 50-3, and that was after FAU decided to let up on the gas with about ten minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Before that mark, the Fighting Owls had a firm grip in all three phases of the game. The standouts for the Fighting Owls were QB Jason Driskel, RB Devin Singletary, and WR’s Kalib Woods, Willie Wright, and Kamrin Solomon.

Driskel has had a spectacular season for the team, and capped the Bowl game off with 270 passing yards and a touchdown, and also included two rushing touchdowns with 67 yards on the ground. The feature back in Singletary lived up to all of his pregame hype will rushing for 124 yards, and three touchdowns. Wright was the prolific receiver for the Fighting Owls and he caught two touchdown passes for 71 yards.

The Zips stat line was not so impressive, but it did show promise for the young quarterback Kato Nelson and his future with the team. The issue was that the offensive line could not hold up, and Nelson ended up having 14 carries for only 21 yards. He only had 80 yards in the air as well, but he kept his composure when he knew his team was outmatched. The Zips leading receiver had a 2 catches for 28 yards, and that sums up the night for the offense.

Akron does have promise heading into the future, but will need to improve collectively with their roster if they plan on letting Kato shine. The Zips have made progress by making it to the Bowl game, but will need much more to win a MAC Championship or Bowl game in the near future.

Cavs play a winning tune over the Jazz

Ty Lue is now the fastest coach in Cleveland Cavaliers franchise history to reach 100 wins. It came over the visiting Utah Jazz, who were without their star big man, Rudy Gobert.

However, there was still a star on the floor for the Jazz, and his name is Donovan Mitchell. The Louisville product has bursted onto the scene in the NBA, and leads all rookies in points per game. He did not disappoint, looking every bit as good as veterans across the  league have made him out to be. Mitchell finished with a team high 26 points on a more than solid 68%.

It was more of a team effort earlier in the game for the Jazz, as they kept things close all game by knocking down the three pointer and moving the ball. The Jazz managed to hit 17 three pointers during the game, which was good for 50% shooting from there. Another rookie did his part for the Jazz as Royce O’Neale scored 12 points, knocking down four out of five three pointers on the night.

Not to get confused, tonight was the Cavaliers night. It was not pretty, but they pulled out the win and moved the home winning streak to eleven games. Cedi Osman had his best game as a Cav, as he broke double digits for the first time in his rookie season. Along for the ride was the mini big three off the bench, as Dwyane Wade, Jeff Green, and Kyle Korver combined for a stat line of 30 points, 9 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Speaking of stat lines, the king put together another stellar night. LeBron James finished with another triple double, 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. This is coming off of last game, where he posted a triple double. This was LeBron’s 60th career triple double, and his 7th back time doing it in back to back games.

The Cleveland Cavaliers did what was necessary to get another ‘W’ in the win column, moving to 21-8 on the season. The Utah Jazz, while showing a lot of promise, lose and move to 14-15 respectfully. The Cavs now have to take the success they’ve seen at home and bring it with them on the road, as the Cavaliers go on the road for 10 of their next 12 games. The Cavaliers look to kick off the road trip with a win against the Washington Wizards, where LeBron scored 57 points the last time they played in the nations capitol.

Cavaliers Down Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks made their way to Quicken Loans Arena this evening. The Cavaliers have had their struggles with the Hawks this season, splitting the season series with them at 1-1. However, the Cavaliers had little, to no problem with the Hawks this evening winning 123-114. A score that does not do this game justice.

The game began as the Cavaliers always attempt it to, with a lot of Love. Kevin started off the game hot, nailing his first two three pointers in the game, and finished the first quarter with 11 points. To sum the game plan up, it was simply bombs away for both teams. Within the first five minutes of action the Cavaliers and Hawks combined for eleven three point attempts, and the attempts kept coming all night.

LeBron James was his regular MVP self, putting up a very efficient double-double with a 25, 7, and 17 night, only missing two shots for the whole game. The 17 assists tied a career high for LeBron, which he set against the Wizards in February of this year. It was a total team effort though as Jose Calderon, Kyle Korver, and Jeff Green combined for a 50 point outburst. This was essential as the Cavaliers were without their leader of the second unit, Dwyane Wade.

For the Hawks, it wasn’t their best night and their best player, Dennis Schroder, struggled tonight only scoring 14 points on fifteen attempts. However, they saw flashes in a player they feel has a lot of promise, Taurean Prince. He put up a very stellar stat line of 24, 7, and 6 on 80% shooting from the field. After tonight, the Atlanta Hawks continue their struggling season, falling to 6-21 on the year.

As stated, it was a true team effort tonight for the Cleveland Cavaliers. They made a season high, 20 three pointers. Also, sharing the ball was essential as the team posted 35 assists to only 13 turnovers. When asked about the Cavaliers three point success against the Hawks in the last four years, Ty Lue in the post game press conference pointed out that the Hawks double team a lot, and in turn open up the opportunity for the Cavaliers to hit shots from deep on a consistent basis.

Head coach, Ty Lue, is now only two wins away from his 100th win, which he hopes to obtain Saturday against the Utah Jazz. However, in order to have that chance the Cavaliers welcome their next opponent to the Q on Thursday, as Big Baller Brand and the Lakers will be in the building.

Zips Out Shoot the Mountaineers; Akron Zips 94 – Appalachian State Mountaineers 89

Article also featured on The Buchtelite

 

The University of Akron men’s basketball game Saturday, Dec. 10,  that was moved from 2 pm to 7 pm didn’t affect the Zips from grinding out another second-half victory over Appalachian State.

Both teams shot for over 50 percent, Akron with .567 and Appalachian State .5, but the Zips outshot the Mountaineers from behind the arc with 58 percent compare Appalachian’s 44 percent.

Malcolm Duvivier lead the Zips with 24 points and Daniel Utomi had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Jimond Ivey and Emmanu Olojakpoke both had 15 points apiece.

Mountaineers center Griffin Kinney led all scorers with a career-high 28 points and added six rebounds.The senior made 9 of 13 shots from the floor and 9 of 11 free throws.

The game was a back and forth affair to the end as both teams pressured one another. The Mountaineers jumped out to a 12-4 lead out of the gate, hitting open jumpers early, including two 3s by Ronshad Shabazz and going inside to big man Kinney to build their lead.

The Zips quickly recovered and reeled off an 8-0 run to tie the game en route to a 47-38 halftime lead.

After the Mountaineers took a 78-76 lead in the second half, Akron went on a 12-2 run. Duvivier made a jumper and Utomi hit back-to-back 3s to give the Zips an 86-79 lead the Zips and allow them to hold on to the lead till the final buzzer.

The past few games have seen the Zips taken an early lead in the first half but struggle defensive in the second half, fighting to keep their heads above water. Appalachian State Kinney dominated the paint due to the Zips able to shut him down.

“Watching them on tape, I knew they were going to be the most difficult team to defend that we have played home or away,” Groce said of the Mountaineers. “I liked our defense in the first half. I thought we forced them into some tough 2s and defended the 3-point line fairly well.”


The Zips will look to strengthen their defense when they welcome Mississippi River State to the James A. Rhodes Arena on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. Their last game before the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

Zips Falls in Final Four of the College Cup

Article also featured on The Buchtelite

 

The University of Akron men’s soccer team had the chance to deny Stanford a second opportunity to be the second soccer program in NCAA history to win three consecutive national titles. However, the Zips would suffer a familiar fate, losing to Stanford in the Final Four of the College Cup tournament 2-0 in Philadelphia, Penn. at Talen Energy Stadium.

The Cardinal’s first half was a dominant display of defensive pressure. Stanford took nine shots, four on goal,  to Akron’s two shots, one on goal.

Stanford keeper Nico Corti made five saves to ensure the clean sheet for Stanford, who has not surrendered a goal in NCAA Tournament play this season. Akron keeper Ben Lundt pulled in four saves for the Zips but gave up two goals due to Akron’s sloppy mid-field play.

Stanford had a seven-minute stretch in the first half where the Cardinal kept Zips on their defensive third, having five near opportunities to put the ball into the net at the Major League Soccer venue.

Stanford’s skipper, Drew Skundrich, forced a turnover from Akron’s Pau Belana, allowing the Cardinals to set up Foster Langsdorf for a diving header for the first goal of the game.

“I think every player was handful tonight. If you turn the ball over in the right spots, Langford will prey on it and we didn’t make him play the game he didn’t want to play. For that reason, we let him do what he wanted to do tonight,” said Embick on Langford’s performance on the night.

The best chance for Akron came in the 61st minute when David Egbo’s shot was saved by Corti. Corti’s save deflected to Niko De Vera, had a strike on goal, which again was saved by Corti.

“That was the moment that we had the momentum and a chance to get back in the game and I do think it’s a key one,” Embick said on the two saves. “If we really rose to the occasion at that moment, who knows what would have happened. When it didn’t go through we kind of had a lull and they started to get back into the game. That’s what happens.”

The final blow for Stanford came in the 79th minute when Werner took a deflection and drove the ball down the left side of the box. He hooked a left-footed shot over Lundt, and the ball deflected on the bottom side of the crossbar and in, giving Stanford the victory and ticket to the final.

“It’s hard to say it, but they were the better team out on the field tonight. They came out aggressive, and I think they got us early and we couldn’t respond,” said head coach Jared Embick after the game.