Men fall to Akron in first round of MAC

Brandon Bowdry, above, and the Eagles lost 67-53 in the first round of the MAC. The game was Bowdry’s last.

The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team lost in the first round of the Mid-American Conference tournament, 67-53, to Akron University Tuesday night in Ohio.

The Eagles (9-22, 5-12 MAC) were led by Brandon Bowdry who did a little of everything on the court. Bowdry led the team with 14 points (11 in the second half), eight rebounds and three assists. Bowdry also tied Antonio Green with a team-high two steals and had the Eagles’ only block.

The Zips (20-12, 10-7 MAC) had four players score in double digits. Steve McNees and Darryl Roberts had 10 points, Brett McKnight had 11 and Nikola Cvetinovic led Akron with 13 off the bench. Zeke Marshall had a game-high nine rebounds and a game-high three blocks.

The Eagles got off to a quick start by going 9-4 in the first few minutes off a J.R. Sims three-pointer, but after nearly eight-minutes without field goals, the Zips would go on a 19-2 run and send the score to 11-23 with 7:35 left.

EMU would gain some ground before halftime to cut the deficit to 31-22.

In the second half, the Eagles scored the first six points of the half and cut the lead to five off a Bowdry layup with 17:04 left.

But the Zips would hold them off again as they pushed the lead back in to double figures, 45-34, off a Marshall basket with 13:14 left.

Late in the game, Bowdry tried all he could to advance the Eagles in the MAC tournament when he stole the ball and finished with a dunk on the other end to cut the lead to 61-53 with 1:40 left. But the dunk would be the last basket for Bowdry in an Eagles uniform and the last for the Eagles in the game.

The Eagles shot 37 percent on 19-of-51 shooting from the field while going 4-of-25 from behind the arc for 16 percent and 11-of-23 from the free throw line for 48 percent.

The Zips shot 49 percent on 23-of-47 shooting from the field while hitting 4-of-8 from three-point territory for 50 percent and 17-of-23 from the free throw line for 74 percent.

EMU beat Akron in Ohio on January 22 of this year 56-51, but this time the poor shooting put the Eagles in a hole too deep for them to climb out of.

Sims scored a season-high 12 points, and Kamil Janton played his best game of the season going for eight points and seven rebounds.

This is the second year in a row Akron has ruined the Eagles post-season hopes after a double-overtime loss last season sent the Eagles home after their best season under coach Charles Ramsey.
Ramsey was unavailable for comment.

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