AKRON, OHIO – Freshman Michael Weathers scored a game high 22 points as the Miami RedHawks overcame a 13-point deficit midway through the second half to defeat the Akron Zips 79-75 Tuesday night at Rhodes Arena.
The victory for Miami (11-19, 4-13 MAC) was . . .
Also reaching double-figure scoring for MU were bench players Jake Wright with 17 points and freshman Marcus Weathers-- brother of Michael -- with 14 and six rebounds.
Akron (23-7, 13-4) suffered its third loss in the last five games and has lost consecutive games at home for the first time since February 18-21, 2015 when it fell to Toledo and Miami.
Junior Antino Jackson led the Zips with 12 points, while senior Kwan Cheatham had 11 with four assists. Junior Noah Robotham owned 10 points with three helpers and three steals.
The game was close at the start, with both teams owning a lead. UA then went on a 13-4 run to open a 28-15 advantage at the 8:29 mark on a three-pointer by sophomore Jimond Ivey.
It was a lead UA would hold for almost the entire game. MU chipped away closing to within five at halftime 38-33.
The Zips opened the second period by establishing their largest lead of the game --13 points on two occasions. The last was 59-44 with 11:01 remaining on a layup by freshman Michael Olajopoke.
Slowly and steadily, the RedHawks took control of the game. They outscored UA 23-9 to close to within one 68-67 on a three by Wright with 4:05 remaining. Miami then took the lead for good, 75-74, on a three by Marcus Weathers.
UA had a chance to tie and possibly take the lead. However, Johnson who finished the game with just nine points, missed a pair front ends on bonus opportunities
Marcus Weathers added three foul shots of his own in the closing moments to cement the ‘Hawks victory and a split in the regular season series.
MU helped itself by shootingt a sizzling 60.9 percent (14-of-23) in the second half) and 55.1 percent for the game (27-of-49). The Zips also shot the ball well from the floor, going 28-of-54 from the field in the game (51.9%) including 14-of-25 in the second half.
The ‘Hawks also took advantage of free throws. They were 13-of-16 from the stripe in the second half, while UA was just 9-of-16. The inability to make foul shots has been an issue much of season and came back to haunt UA, especially in the second half.
MU won the battle of the boards 27-23 and had 31 bench points to the Zips 26. The visitors converted 13 turnovers into 26 points.
Both teams end the regular season against rivals on Friday night, UA makes the short trip to Kent to battle the Golden Flashes, while Miami heads to Athens to face Ohio’s Bobcats.
Before the game, the 3,646 in attendance saluted the team on winning the Mid-American Conference regular season title, the Eastern Division championship, and the top seed in the 2017 MAC Tournament presented by visitmyrtlebeach.com. The Zips also recognized Cheatham and Isaiah Johnson, who were playing their final game in front of the home crowd.