Not even a 14-point second-half lead on Miami was enough to keep the University of Akron afloat Saturday afternoon at Rhodes Arena.

The Zips instead had to contend with the RedHawks pecking away until they achieved a 51-51 draw by the end of regulation, and Miami went on to win 64-62 in overtime.

A myriad of issues simply caught up with the Zips in the second half and sent them tumbling down to 12-16 overall and 5-11 in the Mid-American Conference.

The loss almost certainly has to rank as one of the most disappointing of the season for UA, which didn’t allow the RedHawks (15-14, 8-8) to take their first lead until 1:22 was left in overtime.

“You lead for 41 minutes and it’s disappointing,” Zips coach John Groce said. “If you’re not disappointed, you don’t care enough.”

The Zips led 44-30 with 9:56 to play, but an inability to secure the ball doomed their ability to hang on. The RedHawks converted 19 UA turnovers into 24 gifted points.

“It wasn’t because we were sloppy,” Groce said. “They initiated them, so give them credit for making some plays.”

UA sophomore forward Daniel Utomi led all scorers with 24 points on 9-of-18 shooting and added four rebounds. Junior guard Jimond Ivey chipped in 12 rebounds and 11 points.

For the RedHawks, Logan McLane produced a team-high 23 points and added three rebounds.

Offensive rebounds certainly played a part as Miami won that battle 16-13, resulting in 16 second-chance points.

None was bigger than Darrian Ringo’s offensive rebound with four seconds remaining in regulation that he turned into a layup to send the game to overtime.

Add to the mix a Zips offense that hibernated in the second half, making just 24 percent (6-of-25) from the field after shooting 52 percent (12-of-23) — including 4-of-9 from deep — in the first half.

Despite the disappointment, Groce found something positive to take from the game.

“It was our best defensive performance all year,” he said. “We played the Akron way. Defensively, it’s something we can build on.”

Defense was the Zips’ calling card in the first half, and it allowed them to seize the momentum and grab a 31-17 halftime lead. They held the RedHawks scoreless for a 5:16 stretch early, and Miami didn’t hit double digits until the 5:59 mark of the first half.

Playing mostly man-to-man, the Zips simply smothered the RedHawks offense. Miami shot 17 percent from the floor (4-of-24) during the first 20 minutes, and the Zips forced 10 turnovers — leading to seven points — and blocked three shots.

Quick shots

Freshman guard Virshon Cotton sat out because of pink eye. ... Freshman forward Jaden Sayles will have his injured wrist re-evaluated early next week.

George M. Thomas can be reached at gmthomas@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Zips blog at www.ohio.com/zips. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeorgeThomasABJ.