The Rams (19-7) stretched their regular season non-conference home winning streak to 16 games, and are 14-1 this season at home. Akron (20-8) had its five-game win streak snapped, failing to match their season best six-game winning streak.
Virginia Commonwealth had a 12-2 spurt midway through the first half to take a 28-15 lead with 5:22 left. Sanders had five points during the run, and finished the half with 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
The Rams led at halftime 34-22.
The Zips closed to 43-39 with 14:01 left on Steve McNees' 3-pointer, but the Rams ran off a 13-5 spree which gave them a 56-44 lead with 7:44 left. Akron got no closer than 10 the rest of the way.
McNees and Anthony Hitchens led the Zips with nine points each.