Eagles blow a 12-point second half lead against the Zips

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EMU forward Karrington Ward (14) attempts a layup over two Purdue defenders in Eastern Michigan’s 69-64 loss to Purdue Saturday afternoon in West Lafayette. Ward scored 25 points and had 8 rebounds in the loss.

In the last ten minutes of regulation, Eastern Michigan University managed to let a 12-point lead slip away against the University of Akron Wednesday night.

The Eagles fell to the Zips 52-48 at the James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron, Ohio, but like the Miami University game on Saturday, head coach Rob Murphy is left with more questions than answers.

Darell Combs and Daylen Harrison led the way for EMU with 10 points each.

Eagles leading scorer Karrington Ward played a very quiet role as he scored seven points on 2-of-3 shooting and went 3-for-4 from the foul line.

Ward managed to grab a team-high eight rebounds.

Akron’s leading scorer and rebounder Demetrius Treadwell lived up to the billing with game-highs of 17 and 14, respectively.

Nick Harney put together a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Jake Kretzer, who scored a career-high 25 against the Eagles back on Jan. 22, was held to three points on 1-of-5 from three-point range.

The Eagles shot 18-of-45 (40 percent), while the Zips went 17-for-53 (32.1 percent).

Things looked good for the Eagles as they jumped out to an early 13-3 lead on the Zips at the 12-minute mark.

After the second media timeout, EMU did not relinquish the lead and kept it for the remainder of the first half as it went into the locker room up 27-18 on Akron.

The second half proved to be a carbon copy of the Miami University game last Saturday as EMU began to self-destruct halfway through the second period.

Leading 43-31, the Eagles began to turn the ball over and miss field goal attempt after field goal attempt.

To make things even worse, EMU converted two field goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation (Da’Shonte Riley’s dunk at the 5:57 mark and Combs’ layup with 0:07 left).

The Eagles’ drought left the door wide open for the Zips to take advantage and they did by finishing the game on a 21-5 run.

Game Notes:

Attendance: 3014

J.R. Sims (Academic Issue) sat out for the ninth consecutive game.

Looking Ahead:

The Eagles play host to the Kent State University Golden Flashes at the Convocation Center on Feb. 8 at 2 p.m.

Kent State (12-10, 3-6 MAC) fell 78-73 to Central Michigan University Wednesday night on the road at McGuirk Arena.

Kris Brewer led the way for KSU with 17 points and five rebounds.

In the teams’ only last meeting last season on Feb. 5, 2013, Kent State defeated EMU 77-62 behind 17 points by Randal Holt.

Holt also became Kent State’s career leader in three-point makes as he hit No. 211 at the 11:34 mark of the second half.

Derek Thompson was the only EMU player in double figures with 17 points.

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Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.


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