Cleveland (WOIO) - Some day, hopefully sooner than later, the Akron Zips will be able to look back on their 26 wins, their regular season and conference tournament MAC titles, and their third trip to the Big Dance in five years, and be proud. But...it may take a little time.
Thursday night's 46-point loss to Virginia Commonwealth was the talk of national sports radio on Friday, but to their credit, most respectable hosts stopped short of targeting the Zips, and using them as a punch line. Everyone knew the story going in: star point guard Alex Abreu, suspended following his arrest for allegedly trying to sell five pounds of marijuana. No doubt, the Zips would miss him. But who could have anticipated the hammer that would hit the Zips again shortly before game time, when three more players were leveled: Brian Walsh and Pat Forsythe with the flu, and Deji Ititayo with back spasms. For even a heavyweight, this would be too much to take. For a MAC team, with less depth than the big-time programs, it was devastating.
The Zips were steamrolled, losing 88-42, with head coach Keith Dambrot calling it "just a miserable night". But the misery won't stick. The lessons learned will. And down the road, those Zips who somehow tried to battle through this season of adversity will be better...and stronger.
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