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AKRON  31   42   73 
MIAMI (OH)  32   31   63 

CLEVELAND (AP) - Steve McNees scored 15 of his season-high 17 points on 3-pointers, leading Akron into the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference tournament with a 73-63 win over Miami (Ohio) on Thursday night.

The Zips (21-12), who have lost in the title game the past two seasons, will play Bowling Green in Friday's second semifinal. In the first semifinal, Ball State (14-16) will face Buffalo (20-10).

The winners will meet in Saturday night's title game for the MAC's automatic NCAA tournament bid.

Akron, the No. 5 seed, did its damage from outside in the second half. The Zips made six of their first eight 3-pointers to build a 13-point lead. McNees and Nate Linhart hit back-to-back 3s as Akron opened a 63:50 lead with 5:33 left.

The Redhawks (17-13) got it down to seven but couldn't come up with the big shot when they needed one.

Michael Bramos , the conference's player of the year, led Miami with 24 points.

Darryl Roberts had 15 points and freshman Nikola Cvetinovic (SEH-tin-o-VICH) had 12 the Zips.

Akron, which scored 93 points to beat Toledo in overtime in the opening round, started just 4-of-19 from the floor and fell behind by 12 in the first half. The Zips were teetering on serious trouble, but behind eight points from McNees, they closed with a 16-5 burst to pull within 32-31 at the break.