There is a core in place for the Eastern Michigan University basketball team to succeed. It’s just a matter of whether or not the players who are apart of it can stay on the court.
Senior guard Carlos Medlock along with forwards Brandon Bowdry, a junior, and Justin Dobbins, a senior, account for 58 percent of the 4-2 team’s scoring.
“We know who our better guys are,” coach Charles Ramsey said. “Now we’re looking for those other guys to step up and give us what we think they can give us.”
If one of the “better guys” doesn’t play, the team can struggle. Take Saturday’s 76-66 win over Davenport, a NAIA team from Grand Rapids, as an example.
Granted Davenport entered 7-0, and EMU played its first home game after opening at Oakland (Mich.) and then taking a four-game road trip through Missouri.
Dobbins didn’t play due to an injury he suffered Tuesday against Southeast Missouri State, and his absence was evident. Freshman Matt Balkema started in his place and mustered five points and two rebounds.
Davenport led by as much as eight in the first half after a Nathan Cox 3-pointer with 7:20 remaining. The junior forward had 26 points off the bench.
Cox and the rest of the team cooled down, though. Davenport was held for a stretch of nearly five minutes without a field goal during the second half.
EMU didn’t regain the lead until 2:07 remaining in the game on a Medlock free throw, which was part of a 16-0 run in the final three minutes.
“The guys locked it down,” Ramsey said. “We got a little energy out of making some buckets. They did what we had to do down the stretch.”
Medlock, who took a medical redshirt last season because of a foot injury, had a career-high 32 points. He had scored 26 on two separate occasions – the last being against Bowling Green on Feb. 13, 2008.
“It was good for him to have a game like this,” Ramsey said. “Hopefully now this will shake off some of the cobwebs that he’s had. It’s the first game he’s really shot the ball well. I’m happy about that.”
Bowdry had his third double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds, but he didn’t start because of what Ramsey said was a “coach’s decision.” He wouldn’t elaborate any further.
Ramsey said Dobbins is questionable for Monday’s 7 p.m. home game against Canisius (N.Y.) College.
It appeared as if Dobbins was limping during timeouts at Saturday’s game, but Ramsey wouldn’t confirm or deny that claim when asked.
Ramsey said a key to Monday’s game is trying to stop senior guard Frank Turner, who’s averaged 19 points and seven assists in four games.
“The kid can absolutely go,” he said. “We’re going to have to come with a lot better effort out of the gate than we had (Saturday).”
Women defeat Missouri State
Tavelyn James scored 31 and Cassie Schrock had 26 to lead the women’s team today to a 93-81 victory over Missouri State at the Convocation Center.
Kristin Thomas had 15 rebounds for EMU (5-1). Melissa Busby lead MSU (3-2) with 20 points off the bench.
EMU (5-1) made 15-of-28 3-pointers, and James had seven.
The Eagles play at Notre Dame 7 p.m. Wednesday.