Eagles will host two non-conference foes

The Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team will host two non-conference opponents this weekend at the Convocation Center.

The Eagles are looking to build off a good but disappointing outing against Michigan State, in which they lost 60-59 in an overtime thriller last Saturday.

The Eagles will host University of Missouri Kansas City at 7 p.m. Saturday. Then, they will host the University of Michigan at 2:06 p.m. Sunday in the “Battle of Washtenaw County.”

EMU will also be looking to improve its perfect record at home and look to build off of the fast start to the season. The team is 5-2 overall in non-conference play and 2-0 at home – one game being an exhibition game.

The good play at home has been consistent through the years for EMU’s basketball program. The Eagles have an all-time record of 120-53 at home, and have won 26 of the last 34 home games dating to the 2008-09 campaign.

Key players deserving notice this weekend are seniors Tavelyn James and Paige Redditt. James has led her team in scoring in six out of seven games. She is averaging 24.1 points, about 3 steals per game, and is shooting 30 percent from the three-point line.

Redditt’s post play has been a complement to the quick, fast game of James. Redditt is second in the team scoring with 10.7 points per game and is the leading rebounder for her team with 10.4 per game.

Other notables to keep an eye on this weekend include freshman Olivia Fouty, sophomore Natachia Watkins, junior Taylor Bird and sophomore Desyree Thomas. They all have started for the Eagles this season and have contributed valuable minutes to their team.

The Eagles will be returning home for the first time since their 110-31 victory versus Marygrove, which took place on Nov. 14. They will be facing a 5-4 UMKC team, which is coming off of back-to-back overtime setbacks against Oakland and Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne. EMU will be facing UMKC for the third time in history, winning both times the teams have played each other.

UofM will have its hands full on defense with the nation’s fourth-best scorer in college basketball in Tavelyn James. The Wolverines will also have their work cut out for them on offense with Thomas, who is averaging 3.7 steals,19th best in the nation.

James will also be looking to make EMU history this weekend. She needs 22 points to pass EMU’s all-time career scorer Laurie Byrd. Byrd set the record of 1,899 points from 1978-82 while James is close behind with 1,878. James is14th all-time in points in the Mid-American Conference.

Michigan’s record, before Thursday’s contest at Detroit Mercy, was 8-1 with its only loss came on the road against No. 6 Maryland. EMU is 4-4 all-time at home against the Wolverines.

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