AKRON, Ohio -- The Akron Zips lost a double-digit lead the final 10 minutes and lost to the last-place Miami RedHawks, 79-75, in a Mid-American Conference game Tuesday night in Rhodes Arena.
The first-place Zips (23-7, 13-4) were leading, 59-44, with 11 minutes to play then fell apart, allowing the RedHawks to win their first road game of the season.
Perhaps it was fatigue as the Zips had six turnovers in the last eight minutes of the first half to lose a 10-point lead, then five turnovers in the last six minutes of the game -- 13 total -- to keep the RedHawks (11-19, 4-13) in the contest. Miami had 17 miscues for the game, but only one over the final 11 minutes.
"We limited our turnovers,'' Miami coach John Cooper said. "We were able to get good execution down the stretch. They turned the ball over late and we took advantage."
Miami's defense shut down Akron center Isaiah Johnson, holding him to nine points and two rebounds. Meanwhile fellow senior Kwan Cheatham became frustrated with his fourth foul with six minutes to play in the game, then earned his fifth with a technical for talking back to the official.
The Zips, up 66-55, just withered from there.
Miami's Michael Weathers led all scorers with 22 points while swingman Jake Wright came off the bench for 17. Antino Jackson led the Zips with 12.
- Game Stats
The first half: The Zips seemed to play in spurts the first 20 minutes as they took a 38-33 halftime lead. Twice Akron had the margin up to double digits against the RedHawks and twice they let them back into the game.
By the numbers: The only two teams with their positions locked into the upcoming MAC Tournament are Akron with the No. 1 seed, and Miami with the No. 12. The RedHawks will play their first-round game on the road, but their opponent is still to be decided via tiebreakers with one game left in the regular season.
Miami's three previous MAC wins were against Northern Illinois the first game of the MAC season, Buffalo on January 24, and Central Michigan on Feb. 11, the RedHawks last win, all at home. Miami has not won a road game this season.
Next up: Miami stays on the road and plays its final regular season game at rival Ohio University at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The Zips play at 9 p.m. Friday at Kent State, looking to avenge a 70-67 loss to the Golden Flashes two weeks ago.
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