Just two weeks after losing to Kent State, the West Virginia Mountaineers rode the hot hand of Jabarie Hinds to a 21-point win over Akron. The Zips, led by Keith Dambrot, were expected to compete with that same Kent State team for the MAC regular season crown and had already scored a win over Mississippi State. But Hinds would lead a Mountaineer flurry at the end of the first half that extended their lead from six to 23 points and essentially put the game away. Hinds would score 12 of his game-high 19 points after the under four timeout in the first half, pacing the impressive rally.
The Mountaineers, along with Hinds, came back down to earth in the second half, with the Zips outscoring WVU by two over the course of the final twenty minutes. West Virginia shot just 20 percent from long-distance, but their defense in the paint and ability to force turnovers kept Akron at a distance. Kevin Jones added a steady 18 points inside, but it was that spurt at the end of the first half, almost singlehandedly created by Hinds, which was the difference on Monday night.
The Mountaineers improved to 4-1 and and now travel to Starkville on Saturday to face a Mississippi State team that lost at home to this same Akron squad to open the season.