Alex Abreu made two free throws with less than a minute left in regulation to tie the score, but the University of Akron was outscored 13-9 in overtime in a 74-70 loss to Coastal Carolina in the season opener in Conway, S.C.
The Zips trailed 61-56 with 3:11 left in regulation and pulled within two after Reggie McAdams made a 3-pointer. McAdams stole the ball on the next play, and after a UA timeout, Abreu made the game-tying free throws to send the game to overtime.
The Zips never led in overtime but pulled within three points with 25 seconds left after Abreu made two free throws. The Zips had the ball with three seconds left but a turnover and a made free throw by the Chanticleers ended the game.
Jake Kretzer and Zeke Marshall each had 15 points, and Abreu had 14 points to lead the Zips.
Two players suspended
The UA athletic department announced Friday afternoon that junior forwards Nick Harney and Demetrius Treadwell will miss the first three games of the season, starting with the game Friday.
According to a news release, neither Harney nor Treadwell received final amateur certification before competing during the 2011-12 season. This violation stems from an NCAA bylaw that states that “prior to engaging in practice or competition, a student-athlete shall receive a final certification of amateur status based on activities that occur prior to his or her request for final certification or initial full-time enrollment at an NCAA Division I or II institution [whichever occurs earlier].”
The NCAA heard an appeal Thursday but elected to uphold the initial ruling. Harney and Treadwell will also have to miss 15 practices over the rest of their college careers. Coach Keith Dambrot emphasized that this happened through no fault of the players involved.