Danielle Minott scored the winning layup for Eastern Michigan with 2.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter, leading to a 61-59 victory over Akron at James A. Rhodes Arena on Monday, March 11. The Eagles move on to the quarterfinals round of the MAC Tournament to play Central Michigan in Cleveland on March 13 at noon.
Minott had a team-high 18 points and Courtnie Lewis scored 13 points for EMU (14-16, 6-12). Megan Sefcik had a game-high 27 points and five 3-pointers for Akron (16-14, 7-11). EMU led Akron 56-54 with 20 seconds left in the game, and then Minott was fouled on a 3-point attempt. She made just one of three free throws.
Shaunay Edmonds scored a layup after an Akron timeout to make it 57-56. Minott was then fouled again and made two free throws to get EMU back up by three. Sefcik tied the game moments later on a deep 3-pointer from the right wing with 14 seconds left.
Minott got the ball with no timeouts remaining, dribbled down the court and made her move to the basket. Her shot hit the back of the rim and took one bounce off the backboard and through the net. Akron inbounded the ball and had to heave a long shot at the final buzzer which came up short.
EMU went on a 10-0 scoring run in the fourth quarter after they were losing 54-46 with six minutes remaining. Akron went scoreless until the layup by Edmonds in the final seconds. Jenna Annecchiarico had a steal with just under three minutes to play, which led to a 3-point jumper by Minott which tied the score at 54.
Corrione Cardwell stole the next possession from Akron that led to a score by Kiara Johnson, and EMU had their first lead since the first quarter. Johnson had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Cardwell had nine points, and Annecchiarico finished with five points.
The Eagles shot 50 percent in the second half going 14 for 28 from the field. They also made 40 percent of their shots from 3-point range after halftime. Akron went 10 for 29 shooting in the second half. The next round for EMU will be against the 1-seed Central Michigan (24-6, 15-3 MAC) who is on an eight-game win streak.
Central Michigan won both regular season games against the Eagles by double digits. The last game finished 87-60 at the Convocation Center on March 2. The two teams met last year in the quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament. The Eagles lost to CMU, 67-64. EMU will be looking for revenge against the Chippewas.