Sophomore guard Derek Thompson’s 18 points were not enough for the Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team to overcome an early lead by Central Michigan. The Chippewas defeated the Eagles 55-52 Tuesday night in Mount Pleasant.
Thompson’s 18 points led all scorers in Tuesday’s game. Jamell Harris turned in ten points along with a team-high seven rebounds and two steals.
CMU’s largest lead came with 11:09 to go before halftime. A triple by Austin Keel put the Chippewas up 17-6. The Eagles would slowly chip away at that lead, going to the locker room down by just four points, 24-20.
The Eagles finished the night shooting 41 percent from the field and 64 percent from the free throw line. However, they were out-rebounded 36-23.
With 26 seconds to play, the Eagles found themselves down by eight, 55-47. A missed free throw by McBroom led to a missed layup by J.R. Sims, but an offensive board and stick back by Harris brought the Eagles within six points.
EMU would then call timeout followed by a Central timeout. Sims would quickly foul Zach Saylor, who missed the one-and-one free throw, and the rebound by Harris gave Thompson a shot for a triple that closed the lead to three.
But with just one second on the clock the Eagles were not able to make a stop, and the Chippewas took the 55-52 victory.
With the loss the Eagles drop to 6-6 in Mid-American Conference play this season, but they remain atop the MAC-West. Central advanced to 3-9 in MAC play.
The Chippewas were led by Austin McBroon with 14 points, while Trey Ziegler recorded 11 points and nine rebounds. Derek Jackson chipped in with five rebounds before he fouled out of the game.
EMU will take a break from conference games this weekend, traveling to Green Bay, Wis., where they will take on the Phoenix of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The teams are scheduled to face-off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, as a part of the Sears Bracket Buster event.