The Zips shot 42 percent from the field, jumping out to a 36-15 late in the first half.
Coastal Carolina trimmed the deficit to nine early in the second half, but Akron answered back with a 17-3 run in which Kretzer hit two 3-pointers.
The Chanticleers used a run of their own to trim the lead to eight with two minutes remaining, but Akron hit six of its last eight free throws to hold off the rally.
The Big 12/SEC Challenge will again feature Kansas and Kentucky, this time at Rupp Arena. That's not the only exciting matchup in next season's midseason conference showdown.
Northwestern has never made the NCAA tournament, but the Wildcats' upward trajectory suggests 2016-17 could finally be the season it happens.
Dillon Brooks, who led Oregon with 16.7 points per game last season, and Tyler Dorsey will opt out of the NBA draft process and return to the Ducks, sources told ESPN.