The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team defeated Madonna University 79-70 on Wednesday in its home opener.
Sophomore center Jamell Harris turned in his first collegiate double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
“He’s been one that we’ve been waiting on,” coach Charles Ramsey said. “We got a good performance from him, hopefully he can grow off of it.”
Harris led the Eagles’ defensive efforts as he also turned in seven of the team’s nine blocks. His seven blocks broke a Convocation Center record of six, held by three opposing players and tied for second-best single-game blocks.
The Eagles were led offensively by junior guard Antonio Green who had 17 points. Junior guard Darrell Lampley had 11 points and five assists. Sophomore guard Adrian Burton also chipped in nine points.
The Crusaders were led by guard Bryant Slaughter (22 points). Guard Kevin Henry followed behind him with 13 points and Bobby Naubert added 10.
The Eagles (1-1) struck first with a three-pointer by senior forward Jay Higgins. Madonna (3-1), however, stayed within reach of Eastern, keeping the deficite to five points or fewer and finding itself tied with the Eagles three times before the 6:45 mark.
The Eagles’ lead was expanded to eight after a three-pointer and a free throw by senior forward Brandon Bowdry along with a layup by senior forward Will Cooper.
Burton made a three-pointer with 38 seconds to play in the first half and added a long
two-pointer at the buzzer to send EMU into the locker room with a 42-27 edge.
Madonna outplayed Eastern in the second half and outscored it 43-35. Madonna opened the half with an 11-4 run after guard Naubert made two consecutive three-pointers. The Madonna run cut EMU’s lead to 48-38 with 17:48 left to play.
With seven minutes left, Green made a three-pointer that expanded the Eagles lead to 71-56. The Crusaders threatened to come back, cutting the lead to just six after a three by guard Bryant Slaughter at the 2:17 mark.
Wednesday’s game was EMU’s Education Day, and more than 2,800 elementary and middle school students were in attendance.
Madonna coach Chuck Henry said it was an honor to play in front of the young students.
“We appreciate the opportunity to come and play on Education Day,” Henry said.
The Eagles will now travel to Buffalo, N.Y., where they will suit up to play Canisius on Saturday. Game time is 2 p.m.