McKnight was 9 for 13 from the field for the Zips (17-10), who trailed by as many as six points in the first half.
Down 40-36 with 14:37 left, Akron went on an 11-4 run, punctuated by two layups apiece by McKnight and Cvetinovic, to take the lead for good.
The Zips made 13 of 14 free throws in the final 3:24 to seal the win.
The Bluejays (17-12), who won their only other meeting 71-60 in the first round of the 2006 NIT, had 17 turnovers to Akron's eight, resulting in 14 Zips points.
One game after making 16 3-pointers against Bowling Green, the Zips were only 3 of 9 from long range while Creighton was 6 of 18.
Doug McDermott had 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Bluejays, who had a 42-32 rebounding edge.