Central Michigan (9-7, 2-1 Mid-American) had lost 14 of its last 16 against the Zips, and beat them for the first time since 2008.
Akron had a 58-57 lead with 10 minutes to play. Rayson scored seven points as part of a Central Michigan 9-0 spurt to take a 66-58 lead with 6:21 remaining, and the Chippewas led the rest of the way.
Isaiah Johnson's layup pulled the Zips to 68-66. Central Michigan answered with a 10-0 surge and led 78-66 with 2:12 left.