Bahamian scores 19 points in a win for the Zips
The Bahamas celebrated Majority Rule Day on Tuesday but it was no day off for Bahamian collegiate basketball player Sammy Hunter as he was in action for the University of Akron Zips.
Hunter had a career-high 19 points in helping the Zips record its first road win of the season.
The Zips took care of the Bowling Green University Falcons, 74-70, at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green, Ohio. For the season, the Zips have a 10-6 win/loss record and are 2-1 in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) play. The Falcons are 8-8 with a 2-1 MAC record.
Hunter had an impressive night, going 7-for-9 from the field. He made all three of his field goals from inside the three-point line. Hunter, who came off the bench, also had a career night from deep, going 4-for-6 in 25 minutes on the floor. He sunk his only free shot of the night. The forward grabbed three rebounds and had a block and a steal in the win.
This was the second time Hunter scored in double figures. He posted 13 points back in December. He is averaging 6.6 points per game to go along with 2.8 rebounds per contest this season.
For much of the contest, it was a back-and-forth game as there were 16 lead changes and six ties.
Hunter did most of his damage in the first half. He first checked in at the 16:16 mark and blocked a shot. He made his presence felt in the paint by grabbing an offensive rebound and making a putback layup before drawing a foul on a play with 15 minutes left in the first half. He completed the and-one play to put his team up 9-7 at that point. The Falcons went up 11-9 before Hunter put his team up 12-11 on a made three-point shot at the 12:32 mark of the first half.
The Bahamian played a significant role in the resurgence by the Zips in the first half. With less than two minutes left in the half, after the Flacons took a 33-26 lead, Hunted had a dunk on a fast break to help the Zips cut into the lead. That came with 1:50 left in the half. Hunter got a steal with just over a minute left in that half and turned that into two points. After the Falcons went up 36-33, Hunter connected on a three-pointer with three seconds left in the half to tie the game at 36. He was not finished there as he knocked down a shot from deep just nine seconds into the second half to put the Zips up 39-36. He hit another huge shot from behind the arc at the 14:03 mark of the second half. The Zips trailed 49-46 at that point. It was his last field goal of the game but his 19 points was huge as the Zips battled down the stretch to pull off the win.
As a team, Akron shot the ball poorly at 40.3 percent compared to the Falcons’ 49.1 percent. The free-throw line was one of the difference makers as the Zips went 13-for-14 while the home team finished 8-for-13.
Akron finished the game with 19 fast break points compared to the Falcons’ six fast break points. Hunter accounted for 19 of the Zips’ 24 bench points.
The Zips return home to Akron, Ohio tomorrow to play the University of Eastern Michigan (4-12, 1-2 MAC) at the James A. Rhodes Arena. The Zips are a perfect 8-0 on their home floor this season. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised live on ESPNU.