The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team started the defense of their Mid-American Conference West title Friday in their 66-52 victory over the Rochester College Warriors at the Convocation Center.
Friday was “Education First Day,” and the team also received their MAC West Championship rings before the game.
Rochester kept up with the Eagles for most of the first half. Redshirt junior Daylen Harrison scored the first points of the season for the Eagles when he was fouled attempting a three-pointer early in the first half and made all three free throws to put the
Eagles ahead. The Eagles led for the rest of the game.
The Eagles went on a 9-5 run for the first 5:01 of the game. After that, they kicked it into high gear. They led the game 19-5 from the 10:33 mark of the first half until Rochester’s Sean Mattia made a three-pointer with 9:08 to go in the half.
The Warriors went on a 12-5 run for the next four and a half minutes, but EMU still had a 24-17 lead. The Eagles continued dominating the pace of the game for the remainder of the half, and despite a brief comeback attempt by the Warriors the Eagles went into the break with a 31-28 lead.
Senior guard Derek Thompson led the way for the Eagles at the half. He had 11 points in 10 minutes. He was 4-7 from the floor and 3-5 from beyond the line. He was the only player who scored double digits in the first half.
As a team, the Eagles were 12-27 (44.4 percent), going 3-8 from three point range (37.5 percent). They had 23 rebounds (10 offensive, 13 defensive), and made four of the five free throws they attempted (80 percent).
The Warriors were 10-24 (41.7 percent) and 4-11 from long distance. They only pulled down eight rebounds (2 offensive, 6 defensive) and turned the ball over four times, as opposed to EMU’s ten turnovers.
The Warriors were also 4-6 from the free throw line (66.7 percent).
Redshirt junior forward Glenn Bryant was second in points with six in 17 minutes. He was 3-6 from the field and missed the only three-pointer that he attempted.
The Eagles led off the second half with a Harrison basket. The team went on an 8-5 run to start the half. They continued to run up the score, eventually leading by a 51-37 score at the midway point of the second half.
The two teams went back and forth for the next four and a half minutes. EMU had a 55-48 lead at the 5:51 mark of the second half, finally going on an 11-4 run to finish the game. The score was never tied, and the Eagles led the game from start to finish in their 66-52 victory.
Thompson cooled off in the second half. He only had three points in 12 minutes, bringing his game total to 14 in 22 minutes with two rebounds.
Freshman Ray Lee led the way for the Eagles in the second half with 12 points in 13 minutes off the bench. He had seven assists in the half as well.
The Eagles played their next game Nov. 11 against Jacksonville State in Jacksonville, Ala. As of press date, the results of the game were not available. The next home game for the Eagles is scheduled for Nov. 14, when they play the winner of Texas Pan-American vs. Rochester, continuing the Ice Man Classic.
Be sure to come to the Convocation Center to cheer on the EMU men’s basketball team as they continue their 2012 season.