AKRON — The Ohio Bobcats were never able to find their defensive footing in Tuesday’s Mid-American Conference opener.
Ohio lost at arch-rival Akron, 90-70.
The second straight loss dropped the Bobcats’ record to 4-3 overall, including 0-1 in the MAC.
Akron moves to 3-1 overall, and 1-0 in the MAC.
Ohio fell behind 44-34 at halftime, then was outscored 46-36 in the second half.
The Zips torched the nets, making 63.6 percent of their shots — 35 of 55. They were 14 of 25 from 3-point range.
Akron had four in double figures, led by Bryan Trimble. He tallied 22 points, making 8 of 10 from the field including all six of his 3-point tries.
Loren Christian Jacks also scored 21 points for Akron, hitting 5 of 10 from 3-point range. He added eight assists.
Maishe Dailey scored 16 points, on 6 of 8 shooting, while Camron Reece came off the bench for 10 points and eight rebounds. Mikal Dawson also scored eight points.
Jason Preston led Ohio with 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Ben Vander Plas had 11 points and four rebounds, while Lunden McDay had 11 points. Ben Roderick came off the bench for 10 points, while Dwight Wilson added nine points and four rebounds.
Ohio didn’t enjoy the same day from long range as Akron did, as the Bobcats made only 8 of 27 (29.6 percent) shots from long range.
Ohio ony had six turnovers in the game, but lost the rebounding battle 37-25.
The Bobcats never led on Tuesday, although they did force a pair of first-half ties at 15-15 and 17-17.
Jackson made a 3-pointer for Akron for a 20-17 lead, an advantage the Zips never lost.
Ohio never cut the deficit to single digits in the second half, trailing by as many as 27 points (85-58) with 2:42 remaining.
Ohio’s Dec. 29 trip to Miami has been postponed. The Bobcats’ next scheduled game is Jan. 2 at Ball State.