Jackson helps Akron beat N Illinois 76-73, win 12th straight
DEKALB, Ill. (AP) Antino Jackson and Isaiah Johnson combined to score 31 of their 43 points in the second half and Akron overcame a 14-point, second-half deficit to win its 12th game in a row, 76-73, over Northern Illinois on Tuesday night.
Jackson hit four 3-pointers and finished with 22 points while Johnson scored 22 – 16 after the break. Noah Robotham added 10 points and Kwan Cheatham Jr. had nine with 11 rebounds.
Johnson made back-to-back layups to put Akron (19-3, 9-0 Mid-American Conference) in front, 66-65, for the first time with 3:50 to play. He then hit two free throws before Robotham added a jumper and the Zips led by five with two minutes left. Dontel Highsmith made a pair of foul shots and Marin Maric added a third to pull Northern Illinois to 70-68 with 54 seconds remaining but Jackson and Robotham combined to make 6 of 6 free throws in the final 23 seconds to seal it.
Maric had 18 of his 23 points, and Aaric Armstead scored 11 of his 13, in the first half and Northern Illinois (13-9, 5-4) led by as many as 15 before taking a 47-33 lead into the break.
Jackson hit back-to-back 3s to cap a 12-5 run to open the second half and cut Akron’s deficit to 52-45 with 15:45 to go.