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Miami falls to Akron in road contest

<p>Senior guard Mekhi Lairy puts up a shot over an outstretched defender during Miami&#x27;s Dec. 1 loss to Cincinnati.</p>

Senior guard Mekhi Lairy puts up a shot over an outstretched defender during Miami's Dec. 1 loss to Cincinnati.

While Oxford was enjoying its snow day, the Miami University men’s basketball team was dropped by the Akron Zips in a Friday evening game in Akron.

Akron was 5-0 up just over 90 seconds into the match, but layups from Precious Ayah and Myja White proved just enough to take Miami into a 6-5 lead going into the first media timeout.

Upon return to the court, junior guard Dae Dae Grant scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half to single-handedly propel Miami into a 16-10 lead. This included a 3-pointer that witnessed a fine team effort as the ball passed through the hands of three players in quick succession before freeing up Grant to score from the edge of the 3-point line.

In the latter half of the period, the momentum gradually shifted into the favor of the Zips, giving them a 30-24 lead going into the final minute. However, senior guard Mekhi Lairy played a quick one-two with fellow senior Elijah McNamara before bagging a three to pull the RedHawks within three points.

In the opening minutes of the second half, Miami tied the score twice before finding the 37-36 edge with a 3-pointer from junior forward Kamari Williams.

As the half progressed, the Zips made an 8-0 and a 6-0 run to pull 15 points clear of the RedHawks at 54-39.

The RedHawks’ effort to chip away the deficit culminated in a three-point bucket by redshirt senior guard Isaiah Coleman-Lands to make the score 60-53 with four minutes to go. However, Akron pulled away by converting enough free throws to win the game 66-55.

Grant proved consistency with 18 points, including a six-for-six from the free-throw line, Williams managed a career-high of two blocks while fan-favorite Ayah came off after committing his fifth personal foul with just two minutes left on the clock.

The fourth consecutive loss saw the RedHawks sink deeper in the MAC championship with a 3-7 record in conference games and 8-13 overall. They will return to Millett Hall on Sunday, Feb 6 for a 4 p.m. tip-off for another matchup against the Zips.

nguye251@miamioh.edu

@Sennitzer

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