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Coppin State vs. Akron preview: Zips searching for 5th straight non-conference win

Akron hopes to grab its ninth victory of the season on Wednesday night at home against Coppin State.

USA TODAY Sports

In their final test before opening Mid-American Conference play next week, Keith Dambrot's Akron Zips will square off against a skidding Coppin State team on Wednesday night in Akron.

The Zips have reeled off four-consecutive wins after dropping a pair of games to Creighton and Detroit in mid-December, and continue to rely on the strong play of big man Zeke Marshall on the interior. The 7'0 Marshall averages 13.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, and is one of the nation's most dangerous shot-blockers with 3.8 per game.

Marshall and the Zips will face a Coppin State team that has fallen on hard times in non-conference play, as the Eagles have already managed to come up short against Indiana, Texas, Iowa, St. Joe's, Arizona State and USC to begin the year. Despite owning one of the lowest effective field goal percentages in America, head coach Ron Mitchell's team remains one of the most active units in the country defensively with an impressive 14.2% steal rate as a team. Against a sound offensive unit like Akron's, the Eagles may need to be extremely active in the passing lanes in order to pull off the upset.

When: Wednesday, Jan. 2

Where: James A. Rhodes H&PE Building, Akron, OH

Game time: 7 p.m. ET

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.