OXFORD, Ohio-Despite leading by as many as nine points against Akron (19-4, 10-0 Mid-American Conference), the Miami University men's basketball team (8-14, 3-7 MAC) fell at the hands of the Zips Saturday afternoon at Millett Hall, 54-50.
Points were difficult to come by for both teams once the game started, with Akron making the first basket of the game at the 17:22 mark. The Zips added two more points before Miami got on the scoreboard with a layup from freshman guard Reggie Johnson nearly six minutes into the half. After an Akron turnover on the next possession, junior center Drew McGhee added two points of his own to tie the game up at 4-4.
The Zips reclaimed their lead with five points from Brian Walsh to make the score 9-4, but the RedHawks were able to find their shooting touch. After Akron took its five-point lead, junior forward Will Felder sparked a 13-2 scoring run with buckets on back-to-back possessions to put Miami up 17-11 with 5:43 left until halftime. Demetrius Treadwell of the Zips laid one in the cut the deficit to four, 17-13, and in the process made Akron's first field goal in over 10 minutes.
After another Treadwell basket that trimmed Miami's lead down to two, the RedHawks rattled off an 8-1 run to close out the half that put Miami in front, 25-16, at halftime. Coming off the bench, McGhee led all scorers in the first half with eight points and was one of three RedHawks with at least four rebounds.
The second half began with six-straight Akron points that brought the Zips within three, 25-22. Miami fought to keeps its lead, rebuilding an eight-point advantage to make the score 34-36 with 12 minutes to play. It didn't last long, however, with the Zips scoring nine unanswered points to take their first lead since the 11:12 mark of the first half, 35-34.
The RedHawks kept it close thanks to junior guard Allen Roberts, who outscored the entire Akron team 9-7 during a three minute stretch that saw Miami take a 43-42 lead with less than five minutes remaining. On the Zips' next possession, however, Walsh hit a three that gave his team a two-point lead, and an advantage they would not relinquish.
Roberts led Miami in scoring with 11 points, all of which came in the second half. Johnson and McGhee each added 10 points to round out the double-figure scorers for the RedHawks. As a team, Miami outrebounded Akron 32-30, and junior guard Quinten Rollins tied his career-high with seven boards. As for the Zips, Walsh and Treadwell each scored 13 points to lead their team. Treadwell also led Akron with six rebounds on the afternoon.
Miami hits the road for its next game, travelling to face the Golden Flashes of Kent State on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on SportsTime Ohio. The RedHawks return home to face Buffalo on Saturday, Feb. 16 for a 3:30 p.m. tip-off at Millett Hall in the second game of a men's and women's basketball doubleheader. The Feb. 16 game is a McFamily and Friends Day with a special ticket package that includes four game tickets and four McDonald's Extra Value Meal vouchers for just $44.