A pair of in-state rivals meet in an important MAC showdown on Tuesday night, as Bowling Green welcomes Akron to the Stroh Center.
The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET. While it won’t be broadcast nationally on television anywhere in the US, you can still watch a live stream of the game on your computer, phone, or streaming device via ESPN+, the new digital streaming service from ESPN (no cable required) that has exclusive coverage to dozens of college basketball games — and several other sports — every week.
You can start a free seven-day trial of ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other compatible streaming device via the ESPN app.
If you can’t watch live, all games — including Akron vs Bowling Green — that are streamed on ESPN+ are also available to be watched afterwards on-demand via ESPN.com or the ESPN app.
Akron vs Bowling Green Preview
Picked during the preseason to finish last in the MAC, Bowling Green has instead been one of the biggest surprises of the college basketball season.
Following an inconsistent start to the season that included losses to Detroit, Hartford and Cleveland State, the Falcons have won 14 of their last 16 games. That includes a 10-2 conference record that has them ahead of nationally ranked Buffalo (they’re tied at 10-2 in conference play, but Bowling Green beat the Bulls a couple weeks ago) for the top spot in the MAC East. At 18 wins, they’ve already assured their best season since 2014-15.
A major reason for the turnaround has been the play of redshirt sophomore guard Justin Turner, who is averaging 18.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals per contest. He was a volume scorer last year, as well, putting up 15.9 points per contest, but the increase in efficiency has been huge. After shooting 40.6 percent from the field last year, he’s at 48.8 this season. Among players with a usage percentage of at least 20.0, he’s second in the conference in offensive rating at 117.5.
After scoring a career-high 34 last time out to secure his third MAC Player of the Week award of the season, Turner is a legitimate candidate for Player of the Year.
Akron, meanwhile, hasn’t enjoyed the same kind of success. The Zips 14-11 overall and 6-6 in the conference. They’ve struggled to get into a rhythm all year, never winning more than three games in a row.
That said, John Groce’s squad does present an interesting matchup for the MAC East leaders. While Bowling Green rank first in the conference in adjusted offensive efficiency, Akron are first in adjust defensive efficiency. They’re 20th in the nation in three-point field-goal percentage defense and 22nd in effective field-goal percentage defense, so they could potentially slow down Turner and Co.
The problem for Akron this year has been their play away from home. They’re 1-5 in conference road games thus far, with the only victory coming against 11-13 Ohio. The Zips have owned this matchup in the past, winning 19 of the last 20 against the Falcons, but they will certainly be considered the underdog on the road.
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