Akron blows past Northern Illinois 76-52 in MAC first round

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AKRON, Ohio — Deji Ibitayo scored 18 points and No. 7 seed Akron beat 10th-seeded Northern Illinois 76-52 on Monday in the first round of the Mid-American Conference tournament.

Akron led by as many as 38, 73-35, with 7:09 remaining before being outscored 17-3.

Reggie McAdams had 15 points and Kwan Cheatham Jr. added 12 for Akron (19-13). Cheatham, McAdams and Ibitayo made three 3-pointers apiece as the Zips hit 14 of 30 from distance.

The Zips made 8 of 14 3-pointers in the first half and led 48-20 at the break.

Aaric Armstead scored 12 points to lead Northern Illinois (14-16). Anthony Johnson added 10 as the Huskies had their four-game winning streak snapped. The Huskies were just 3 of 15 from 3 (20 percent).

Akron advances to play sixth-seeded Western Michigan in the second round on Wednesday.