AKRON, Ohio — Daniel Utomi hit four 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 20 points, Eric Parrish scored 17 points in his debut and Akron rallied from a 10-point, second-half deficit to beat Cleveland State 67-57 on Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.
Parrish, who scored 13 in the second half, made 5 of 10 from the field and 6 of 7 from the free-throw line and grabbed six rebounds.
Akron made just three of its first 16 field-goal attempts, trailed as many as 12 in the first half and, after a layup by Cleveland State’s Anthony Wright, the Zips were down 36-26 with 17:57 remaining. Utomi hit a 3-pointer 11 seconds later, the Vikings missed 12 of their next 14 shots, and the Zips took their first lead when Parrish made a layup with 12:33 to play during a 23-4 run that made it 49-40.
Cleveland State trimmed its deficit to 54-49 after a 3-pointer by Stefan Kenic with 4:39 remaining, but Parrish and Malcolm Duvivier each hit jumpers and, after Tyree Appleby made 1 of 2 free throws, Jimond Ivey made a 3 to push Akron’s lead back into double digits with two minutes left.
Appleby scored 13 points and Kenny Carpenter added 11 points, 12 rebounds and four assists for Cleveland State. The Vikings made just 3-of-19 3-pointers and shot 38.5 percent (10 of 26) from the free-throw line.