Kretzer And Akron Return To The Convo For MAC Clash

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With Mid-American Conference play beginning this week for NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams, Waverly graduate Jake Kretzer will be returning to Ohio University’s Convocation Center Sunday night.

Kretzer is playing in his sophomore season as a member of the University of Akron Zips. Game time at Ohio University’s Convocation Center is set for 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 12.

Kretzer lit up the scoreboard and led the charge in last year’s contest between the two, which was played at Ohio University on Feb. 27, 2013.

In his first return to the Ohio University Convocation Center as a college freshman basketball player in 2013, the Waverly graduate turned in a perfect shooting night, and his team picked up a crucial 88-81 victory to win their 19th game in a row.

It seemed fitting for Kretzer to score a career-high 19 points in his team’s 19th win during that 2013 matchup. He did it by going 5-for-5 from three-point land, 6-of-6 overall from the floor (with a dunk near the end of overtime) and 2-for-2 from the line. In all, Kretzer logged 26 minutes, coming off the bench. He also had three rebounds and an assist.

It was the biggest college game of Kretzer’s young University of Akron career and a crucial matchup in the Mid-American Conference in a familiar arena at the Convo.

With both the Ohio Bobcats and the Akron Zips fighting to make it into the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament, Akron weathered the storm and won the game 88-81 in overtime. Kretzer was an integral part of that victory, hitting shots to put his team ahead multiple times while keeping pressure on Ohio’s D.J. Cooper. Akron went on to win the MAC title and received a spot in the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years.

At this point in the 2013-14 season, Akron has posted an 8-5 record, going a perfect 6-0 at home. The Zips begin MAC play on Wednesday night at Ball State. They will then head to Athens for their second MAC game on Sunday.

Kretzer has played in all 13 games. He is averaging around 22 minutes and seven points per game.

The Zips will be facing a 10-3 Ohio Bobcats squad that boasts a 7-1 record at home. Ohio’s Maurice Ndour is the leading scorer at 14.9 points per game and Nick Kellogg follows with 14.7 points per game. The Bobcats are a 13-time NCAA tournament participant and made it to the “Sweet” 16 in 2012.

The Ohio-Akron game will be televised locally on Time Warner CableSportsChannel and broadcast nationally on ESPN3. Ohio fans also can listen to the contest live on the Ohio IMG Sports Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 5:30 p.m.