AKRON, Ohio (AP) Kwan Cheatham Jr. and Noah Robotham each scored 16 points and Akron used a 44-30 rebounding advantage and a late run to beat American University 72-62 in their home opener on Thursday night.
Trailing 33-25 at halftime, American rallied to within 40-37 on James Washington's layup and 3-pointer. Jimond Ivey dunked on Akron's next possession, sparking a 13-5 run and the Zips pulled ahead 53-43 with 5:38 left and the Eagles (0-3) got no closer than 8 the rest of the way.
Cheatham grabbed 12 rebounds, Isaiah Johnson scored 14 points and had 10 boards and Ivey added 12 points and 11 rebounds. The Zips (1-1) were held to 36 percent shooting from the floor (20 of 55) but made 27 of 34 free throws (79 percent).
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Zips players were presented their 2015-16 Mid-American Conference Regular-Season Championship rings before the game. Akron finished 26-9 overall and 13-5 in league play last season.
Washington and Delante Jones led American with 18 points each.