CMU men's basketball drops heartbreaker at Akron


The CMU men's basketball team huddles during the game against Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday, March 1 in McGuirk Arena.

With 10 seconds left and down by one, a last chance shot by the Chippewas fell short resulting in a 57-56 loss to Akron on Friday in the last regular-season game.

Although the Chippewas fell short in their season finale, they are still headed to the Mid-American Conference Tournament due to a Bowling Green loss at Toledo. 

The Chippewas have had their fair share of cold shooting nights, but this one only lasted for the first six minutes, until Harrison Henderson was sent to the free-throw line giving CMU its first two points. This would send the Chippewas on a roll. 

Although the Chippewas (7-22, 6-12) shooting did warm up, Akron (21-9, 14-6) continued their success from the floor making it a back-and-forth race between the Chippewas and the Zips. Another pair of free throws from Henderson gave the Chippewas a three-point lead going into the half.  

With the Chippewas regular leading scorer Kevin Miller sent to the bench due to early foul trouble, they looked to Henderson for points. Henderson went a total of 9-for-10 from the free-throw line. 

The Chippewas continued forward with momentum after taking a lead at the half, but Akron wasn't going down without a fight. The back-and-forth baskets on both ends of the court continued for the rest of the matchup until struggles with the shot clock and runs by the Chippewas slipped the Zips down by six with two minutes remaining. 

The Zips looked to take chances to keep them in the game and capitalized on their opportunities for free throws. Fouls plagued the Chippewas in the last few minutes allowing Akron to make it a one-possession game with their free throw shots. The Zips went 12-for-17 from the free-throw line. 

The Zips went on a 9-2 run to put them up by one with 32 seconds remaining. Greg Tribble was sent to the free-throw line for the Zips one last time with the opportunity to seal their fate but went 0-for-2 allowing the Chippewas a short chance to score and take the win.

With 10 seconds left Ralph Bissainthe rebounded the ball and found Miller under the basket with four seconds left but he didn't have enough to send it up resulting in a one-point loss. 

The Chippewas were led by Henderson with 17 points and Bissainthe with 14. Brian Taylor led with eight rebounds. 

Xavier Castaneda led the Zips with 17 points and not far behind was Ali Ali with 12 points. Mikal Dawson led the Zips with eight rebounds. 

The Chippewas will head to Cleveland for the MAC tournament where they will take on the first seed Toledo on at 11 a.m. March 10.