Akron, OH (WOIO) - The Akron Zips used defense and some timely baskets late in the game to edge Eastern Michigan 52-48 on Wednesday night in a Mid-American Conference cross-divisional matchup at James A. Rhodes Arena.
After trailing the Eagles by as many as 13 points, including by 12 in the second half, the Zips kept EMU to one field goal over the last 5:57 of play. UAs would outscore the Eagles 16-3 to close out the game and get the victory.
Darell Combs and Daylen Harrison led Eastern Michigan (12-10, 4-5 MAC) with 10 points each.
The Zips shot just 32.1 percent from the floor (17-of-53) and made 3-of-23 long balls (13.0 percent), but connected on 15-of-20 from the charity stripe (75.0 percent). Twelve of Akron's 15 makes came in the second half.
Down 12 with 10:16 to go (43-31), the Zips slowly began to chip away at the EMU lead. It wasn't until Carmelo Betancourt's offensive board, put-back and free throw with 2:42 to go that the Zips would tie the game for the first time at 46-all. Two possessions later, Harney would give the Zips the lead for good thanks to a layup following his third offensive board of the game.
Betancourt finished with six points, three assists, one rebound and one steal.
Akron started the first half going nine and a half minutes with just two field goals, while EMU used a 12-2 run to pull ahead 17-5 by the 10:52 mark.
The Zips would fall behind by as many as 13 points before keeping Eastern Michigan from scoring a field goal through the last 5:34 of the half. Akron trailed 27-18 at the intermission. UA ended the first half shooting 7-of-29 from the field for 24.1 percent while Eastern Michigan shot 41.7 percent from the field (10-of-24).