Kent State Golden Flashes (3-1) at Akron Zips (3-1)
College Basketball: Friday, January 1, 2021 at 7:00 pm (James A. Rhodes Arena)
The Line: Akron Zips -3 -- Over/Under: 149.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Kent State Golden Flashes and the Akron Zips meet in college basketball MAC-tion from James A. Rhodes Arena on Friday night.
The Kent State Golden Flashes enter conference play looking to build on their 3-1 overall record following a 92-73 win over Northern Kentucky last time out. Justyn Hamilton led the Golden Flashes with 22 points on 11 of 13 shooting with 6 rebounds and a pair of steals while Danny Pippen and Mike Nuga each had 19 points with Pippen shooting 7 of 14 with 3 threes along with 7 rebounds and 6 assists while Nuga shot 6 of 13 with 4 triples. Malique Jacobs added 13 points with a team-high 7 assists and 4 steals while Gabe O’Neal added 10 points with a team-high 9 rebounds to cap off the scoring in double figures for Kent State in the win. Giovanni Santiago also added 9 points with 7 assists and a pair of steals. Nuga leads Kent State in scoring with an average of 17.8 points per game while Hamilton leads the Golden Flashes in rebounds with 9.5 rebounds per game and Jacobs is Kent State’s top assist man, dishing out 4.3 assists per game this season. As a team, Kent State is averaging 81.5 points on 47.6% shooting from the field, 33.3% from 3-point range and 75% from the foul line while allowing opposing teams to average 62.8 points on 36.3% shooting from the field and 28.1% from 3-point range this season.
The Akron Zips will look to pick up some steam after back-to-back wins following a 90-70 win over Ohio last time out. Bryan Trimble Jr. led the Zips with 22 points on 8 of 10 shooting with a perfect 6 of 6 mark from 3-point range while Loren Cristian Jackson came right behind with 21 points on 7 of 16 shooting with 5 threes and a team-high 8 assists. Maishe Dailey added 16 points on 6 of 8 shooting with 3 threes while Camron Reece added 10 points on a perfect 5 of 5 shooting with 8 rebounds and 3 assists to cap off the scoring in double figures in the winning effort for the Zips. Enrique Freeman added 8 rebounds and 3 blocks as well in the victory for Akron. Jackson leads the Zips in scoring and assists with an average of 24 points and 8.5 assists per game while Freeman leads Akron on the glass with 9.8 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Akron is averaging 88.5 points on 50.6% shooting from the field, 33.6% from 3-point range and 82.4% from the foul line while allowing opposing teams to average 70.8 points on 43.5% shooting from the field and 24.1% from 3-point range this season.
Kent State is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog while the under is 15-5-1 in their last 21 games against a team with a winning record. Akron is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games while the under is 15-5-1 in their last 21 games against a team with a winning record.
Akron’s been one of the better basketball teams in the MAC for some time now, but the Zips have had issues covering the number as well and that’s not good when you’re taking on a Kent State team that has one of the more underrated core groups in the entire conference. I think Kent State has the chops to go shot for shot with Akron here, so I’ll take Kent State and the points in this one.