Men’s basketball staged a 15-point comeback at the University of Akron on Tuesday evening. It was the second to last game of the season for both teams and it is the RedHawks’ first win on the road and only Akron’s second loss at home.
Miami improves to 11-19 overall, 4-13 in the Mid-American Conference and 1-11 away. Akron falls to 23-7 overall, 13-4 in the MAC and 13-2 at home.
The RedHawks opened the scoring, but three early threes from Akron forced the ‘Hawks to start their offensive game on time. Junior forwards Rod Mills Jr., and Logan McLane and freshman guard Milos Jovic battled for baskets and tied the game at 9-9 four minutes into the contest. Three minutes later, the three starters put Miami up 14-13.
The Zips responded with a 15-4 run that put them up 28-18 with 8:29 left in the half. Freshman guard Michael Weathers and freshman forward Marcus Weathers battled to cut the Zips’ lead in half, before Akron pushed their advantage back to double digits. Marcus Weathers dunked to bring the RedHawks back within five, then both teams exchanged baskets. Miami found themselves down 38-33 at the half.
The second half began with more back-and-forth basketball, as Miami struggled to find an offensive advantage. Five minutes into the second half had the Red and White down 52-42 and Akron pushed their lead to 15 points two minutes later.
A pair of threes from Redshirt sophomore guard Jake Wright and a pair of free throws from Michael Weathers put the RedHawks’ deficit in single digits at 61-52 with 8:03 remaining in the game. Again, Akron responded but would see their last double-digit lead of the game at 66-56 with six minutes remaining.
Wright, the Weathers and junior guard Abdoulaye Harouna made threes, free throws and layups to give the ‘Hawks a 68-67 advantage — the ‘Hawks first since 6:35 of the first half. The lead changed four times in two minutes as both squads fought for the W.
A sunk free throw from Harouna put Miami up 76-74 with 30 seconds left. Marcus Weathers fouled and then Akron responded with their own good free throw. Weathers redeemed himself and made two shots from the charity stripe and Michael Weathers made one in the game’s final second to secure a 79-75 victory.
Miami out-rebounded Akron with 27 rebounds to the Zips’ 23, though the ‘Hawks turned over the ball 17 times compared to the Zips’ 13.
Michael Weathers finished with 22 points, Wright had 17 and Marcus Weathers had 14. Akron’s scoring was led by junior guard Antino Jackson who had 12 points.
The RedHawks also edged their opponents in the paint and from outside the arc, making 55.1 percent of their field goals to Akron’s 51.9 percent and making 47.1 percent of their attempted threes to Akron’s 32.3 percent. Most noticeable was Miami going 17-for-19 at the charity stripe, whereas Akron went 9-for-16.
Miami heads to Ohio University for a Friday night 6:30 p.m. matchup — it’s both teams’ last games of the season. Mid-January was the last time they faced off and the Bobcats beat the RedHawks 79-62. The MAC tournament then begins on Monday March 6.