Kwan Cheatham had 15 points and Pat Forsythe added 15 points and nine rebounds to lead Akron past Southern Cal 66-46 in the opening game of the Charleston Classic on Thursday.
The Zips took a double-digit lead in the first half and held off the Trojans to beat a Power Five conference member for the fourth straight season.
Noah Robotham added 14 points for Akron, which opened 2-0 for the fourth time in coach Keith Dambrot's 11 seasons.
Southern Cal (1-2) cut Akron's 17-point lead down to 47-40 on Nikola Jovanovic's basket with 10 minutes left. That's when Antino Jackson hit two straight 3-pointers to give the Zips back their comfortable lead.
Jovanovic had 11 points to lead the Trojans, who shot 28.3 percent (15 of 53) for the game.