Second-Half Surge Gives Men’s Basketball a 70-58 Win at Ball State

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MUNCIE, Ind. – Brian Walsh posted a career-high 16 points, all in the second half, to lead the Akron Zips to a 70-58 road win at Ball State on Tuesday night in a Mid-American Conference cross-divisional matchup.

Walsh finished the game shooting 3-of-7 from the field, 2-of-5 from 3-point range. He converted all eight free throw attempts down the stretch.

Quincy Diggs also finished with 16 points, including 11 in the second half, while Alex Abreu (12) and Demetrius Treadwell (11) rounded out four Zips in double figures. Abreu also finished with seven assists.

Jarrod Jones led Ball State (12-6, 4-2 MAC) with 25 points.

The Zips, trailing 30-27 at the half, posted 43 points in the second half to improve to 13-7 overall, 5-1 in Mid-American Conference play.

Neither team shot the ball well coming out of the half, with both teams combining to go 5-of-18 from the field (27.8 percent). The Zips were able to tie the game at 34-34 with 16:43 to go in the game.

Akron would then use a mini 6-2 run to open up a four-point advantage (40-36) with 13:17 left on the second half clock. The Zips kept the pressure on the Cardinals by forcing a BSU timeout with UA leading 51-43 (8:23). Treadwell scored six-straight Akron points and Diggs capped off the streak with a fast break lay-up.

The Akron advantage would not drop below seven points as Walsh would seal the victory at the charity stripe with eight-straight free throws in the final 1:54.

Ball State jumped out to a 9-0 lead by the 16:14 mark to force an Akron timeout. However, the Zips would answer with two 3-pointers by Abreu and a third from Diggs to cut the advantage to 12-9 by the under-16 media timeout (14:35). Treadwell tied the game on Akron's next possession with an old fashion three-point play.

Over the next seven-and-a-half minutes, Akron and Ball State would change leads three times, with neither team grabbing an advantage of more than two points. The Zips would enter the under-eight timeout up 19-18 (7:42).

Abreu would keep the 3-pointers coming, hitting two more down the stretch to keep the game knotted at 27-27 with 3:47 on the first half clock. BSU would score the final three points of the half to take a 30-27 lead into the locker room.

Abreu led the Zips with 12 points in the opening half, all coming from long range (4-of-5). Akron closed the opening 20 minutes shooting 42.9 percent from the floor (9-of-21) and 54.5 percent from behind the arc (6-of-11).

UA held a 16-13 edge on the boards but committed 12 turnovers in the half compared to five by BSU.

Akron closes out its two-game MAC West road swing on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Central Michigan. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET.

Zips Notebook: Zeke Marshall tied James Hughes (Northern Illinois) for seventh place on the MAC career blocked shots list (210) ... Marshall finished the game with five blocked shots ... head coach Keith Dambrot moved into a tie for eighth place on the MAC league wins list (95) with CMU's Dick Parfitt ... Brian Walsh's previous career high for points was 15 against North Carolina A&T (Dec. 21).