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Zips sweat out victory at Miami

By mrasor Published: February 19, 2008

Men's basketball
Cedrick Middleton went to the free throw line with a two point lead over Miami.
There were less than 10 seconds on the clock.
Sound familiar?
This time, Middleton swished both. Doug Penno, meanwhile, sat on the sidelines as a spectator. No bank shot prayer this time, pal.
The Zips beat the RedHawks 56-52 -- their first victory in Oxford since 2001.
Perhaps the play of the game was when Nick Dials drew a charge from Tim Pollitz. If the referee did not blow the whistle, it would have been a three-point play for Pollitz.
Quade Milum dunked home the winning bucket for Akron with 30 seconds left. Dials sprawled to the rim and Milum crashed the boards. It almost appeared to be a set play.
Both teams played great defense, but Akron's shooting was superb. The McKnight brothers, who both started, made critical shots in the perimeter-oriented offense. Chris McKnight also blocked a key shot from Michael Bramos with a minute left.
Middleton is back. He's making shots, streaking to the hoop and playing confidently. If it continues, Middleton's resurgence is a great story about how a coach's faith in a player can pay off. You might remember a similar occurrence with Nate Linhart after the forward suffered through a tumultuous start of the season. Linhart had a tough game tonight, though, going 1-for-10 from the field.
With the win, Akron opened a two-game lead over Miami and all but secured a first-round bye in the MAC Tournament, considering Akron also holds a tie-breaker over the RedHawks.
This is exactly the kind of game where Jeremiah Wood excels. Without him, Akron's offense was relegated to jump shots and slashing. I can only remember one set play to a post player. The Zips will get him back Saturday for a 11 a.m. game against Virginia Commonwealth.

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