Steve Forbes contributed 17 points and seven rebounds for IPFW (25-10), which will head to the second round of the tournament later this week against an opponent to be determined. Mo Evans chipped in 15 points in 18 minutes off the bench, while Michael Kibiloski scored 12 points. Pierre Bland scored 10 points and handed out seven assists in the winning effort.
For the Zips (21-13), Demetrius Treadwell made good on 11-of-12 shots from the floor en route to a game-high 25 points. Quincy Diggs netted 23 points on 8- of-15 efficiency from the field and dealt out five assists, while Nick Harney provided 12 points.
Both sides played very well offensively in the contest. Akron assisted 12 of its 18 makes from the field in the opening period, but went into the intermission trailing, 47-46, after the Mastodons connected on 62.1 percent of their field goal attempts, including a 6-of-11 clip from 3-point range.
The Zips sank 62.1 percent of their shots from the floor in the second stanza. Although IPFW converted only 14-of-23 tries at the charity stripe after the break, it still managed to pull away thanks to its 6-of-11 performance from beyond the arc over the final 20 minutes of play. The Mastodons used a 16-4 run to take an 91-79 lead by the 1:48 mark of the second half and held off the visitors the rest of the way.
In addition to outscoring the Zips, 36-15, from 3-point range, IPFW also enjoyed a 26-21 edge in the rebounding battle.