Cleveland (WOIO) - Quincy Diggs scored 14 of his team-high 20 points in the second half to help fourth-seeded Akron to an 83-77 comeback victory over fifth-seeded Ohio on Thursday night in the quarterfinal round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament at Quicken Loans Arena.
Akron (21-11) will face top-seed Western Michigan on Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in the semifinal. That contest, the Zips ninth-straight appearance in the semis, will be televised on Time Warner Cable Sports Channel and ESPN3.
Diggs, who also had three steals and a pair of rebounds, converted 6-of-8 shots from the field and 6-of-7 attempts from the foul line in 31 minutes as a starter. Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell posted 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Reggie McAdams had 10 points off a 4-of-4 showing from the floor and 2-of-2 performance at the line.
Diggs opened the second-half scoring for the Zips with his own mini 5-0 run to cut the Ohio (23-11) lead to 40-38 a little over one minute into the period. The Zips would close the gap to one possession on several occasions, but the Bobcats would respond with a bucket every time to maintain a slim advantage. An 8-1 run by OU gave it a 64-56 lead with 9:04 to go, but the Zips rallied back.
After a couple of stops on defense, McAdams hit a 3-pointer to force an Ohio timeout. The Zips trailed by just two, 64-62, with 6:33 on the clock. Diggs would go coast-to-coast on Akron's next possession to tie the game at 64-all (5:50). Once again, Ohio responded with a basket on its next possession.
Two steals on back-to-back Ohio possessions by Carmelo Betancourt would spark at 7-0 Akron run to give the Zips a 71-67 lead with 2:54 to go. The advantage was the first for UA since the 14:57 mark of the first half (12-11). The run would grow to 11-0 as the Zips grew their lead to 75-67 with 1:10 remaining.
Akron went 7-of-8 from the line in the final 47 seconds to hold on for the win.
Ohio used a 12-4 run to open up a 34-24 lead with 2:38 left in the first half. The Zips trimmed the deficit and went into the locker room down, 38-33.
Zips Notebook: Sophomore Jake Kretzer returned to competition for the first time since suffering a concussion at Buffalo on Feb. 19 (sat five games) ... the Zips have now won 15 of their last 17 MAC Tournament games ... Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell has posted double-doubles in his last three MAC Tournament contests.