The Chippewas had no answer for . . .
Akron built a 12-point, 60-48 advantage by the first media timeout in the second half, but saw that lead diminish to two points, 74-72, with 6:24 remaining in the game.
Twenty seconds later, Johnson scored on a post move to give the Zips a four-point cushion and followed with two made free throws, for a 78-72 advantage with 5:21 left in the game. However, CMU continued to battle, knocking down a 3-pointer while adding a pair of bonus buckets. Moments later, CMU's Marcus Keene buried two additional free throws to give the Chippewas a 79-78 lead with 3:43 left to play.
Johnson answered with two points from the charity stripe to regain the lead and the back-and-forth battle began. On the ensuing possession, Keene drove the lane for two points, and Johnson responded with a lay-in.
The scoreboard flipped two more times, as Keene streaked though the lane again, but Jonson followed with another inside move with two defenders trying to stop him. Johnson buried the shot and added a free throw to give Akron an 85-83 advantage with 1:23 left to play.
On the other side of the court, Johnson denied Keene's next attempt at a layup, blocking the shot and senior Kwan Cheatham, Jr. recovered the rebound.
The Zips gave the ball to Johnson for a seventh straight possession, but when the defense collapsed, Johnson found junior Antino Jackson (Houston, Texas) wide open in the corner. Jackson buried the trifecta to give the Zips' an 88-83 lead with 21 seconds remaining in the game.
CMU's 3-point attempt bounced off the iron, and Cheatham secured the defensive rebound, forcing the Chippewas to foul. He split the two-shot free throw attempt to ice the outcome with seven seconds showing on the clock. CMU scored the final two-points of the game.
Johnson led Akron's scoring efforts with 33 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field and 11-of-16 from the charity stripe while adding nine rebounds.
Cheatham followed with his second double-double of the season, scoring 19 points and grabbing 13 rebounds with six assists and two blocked shots. Sophomore Josh Williams (Akron, Ohio) also scored in double figures with 14 points, while junior Jimond Ivey finished with six points, nine rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot.
As a team Akron controlled the glass 41-34 and forced 12 turnovers with a season-high nine steals and five blocked shots. The Zips shot 45.6 percent from the field, including a 42.9 percent effort from beyond the 3-point arc. Akron buried 15 triples for the third time this season.
For Central Michigan, Keene and Braylon Rayson combined for 60 of the team's 85 points. Keene matched Johnson's 33-point performance and Rayson added 27 points. The Chippewas finished at 50 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from downtown with 12 made 3-pointers.
Akron will continue its Mid-American Conference play on the road, meeting Miami on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET) at Millett Hall. Central Michigan will host Toledo Friday (7 p.m. ET).
(Courtesy of Akron Athletics)