The Marshall bench provided the spark in the second half, producing 38 points. David Anderson did the most damage to Akron, scoring 13 points in just 11 minutes of play. Enoch Bunch also did damage, with 11 points in 21 minutes.
Akron overcame a 9-point Marshall lead in the first half, with guard Derrick Tarver erupting to score 19 of Akron's 36 first half points. Akron led by two, 36-34, at the half.
Marshall's Marvin Black dunked two of his 23 points in a 78-68 win over Akron on Wednesday evening.
In the second half, Marshall slowly reeled in the Zips, who had a 45-38 lead with 17:49 remaining. MU took the lead on free throws by Marvin Black, 50-49, with 11:48 left. Those free throws were part of a Marshall 12-0 run that ended with The Herd on top 60-49.
"When we need that spark real quick, coach brings us in," MU guard Enoch Bunch said of he and David Anderson coming off the bench to spark the second half run. "That's what gets us going."
Akron once again cut the MU lead to only six points (64-58), but Enoch Bunch hit a three from the left side with 4:53 left to keep the Zips at bay. Marshall made 7-of-12 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
"We just didn't get much production in other spots, to be honest with you," said Akron coach Dan Hipsher after the game.
"The difference in this game for our team was that we did a much better job in the second half, in the effort department," Marshall coach Ron Jirsa said. "We contested shots better."
Marvin Black did not disappoint on Senior Night, scoring 23 points and grabbing 9 rebounds to lead the Marshall scoring. Anderson (13), Bunch (11), and Hamilton (10) also scored in double figures. MU shot 49.1% (26-of-53), while Akron shot 47.4% (27-of-57).
Akron's Derrick Tarver finished with a stellar 39 points, and teammate Jeremiah Wood added 11 as the only other Zip in double figures.
"Derrick Tarver is a super player on offense, extremely hard to guard," said Jirsa. "We used a lot of people on him, and eventually when it got to A.W. (Hamilton), we were in pretty good shape at the end."
Marshall now prepares to play the Miami RedHawks on Saturday in the final game of the MAC regular season. The Herd could grab the 8th seed in the MAC tournament (and play at home in the first round on Monday evening), depending on the outcome of final games on Saturday. The biggest factor in The Herd's tournament picture is Western Michigan: the Broncos need to win over Northern Illinois on Saturday in order for Marshall to get the 8th seed.
Marvin Black smiled and summed up, "We're all a little eager to play another home game."