The Akron Zips lost their first conference game of the season, falling to the Ohio Bobcats, 85-70.
It’s been far from a smooth week for the Zips (19-4, 9-1), who’ve had one of the rockiest roads of any team that was unbeaten in its conference prior to Saturday.
Last Saturday, Akron edged Buffalo 91-90.
Two days later, the Zips were down 47-33 at halftime at Northern Illinois, but came back to win by three.
Saturday afternoon in Athens was every bit as nerve-wrecking as the last two.
The Zips trailed 32-27 at the half and could not get two of their stars, Kwan Cheatham and Isaiah Johnson going much of the day.
Cheatham, typically a knockdown shooter, went just 3-of-18 from the field.
Johnson only played 23 minutes of action, after committing four fouls in the first 25 minutes of play.
The center finished with 18 points.
Jaaron Simmons led the way for Ohio, scoring a career-high 38 points, hitting 10-of-16 field goal attempts.
The point guard also grabbed ten boards and dished out five assists.
The Bobcats (14-7, 6-4) have bounced back after losing the 2016 MAC Player of the Year Antonio Campbell to a season-ending foot injury, winning three of their last five.
The two teams could potentially meet again in the MAC Tournament and there’s a case to be made that these are the two best teams in the conference.
Akron’s win-streak ends at 12 games, but the Zips still have a 28-game streak at home to defend on Tuesday night against Ball State.
Ohio is back in action on the same night at home against Central Michigan.
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