Coming off a decisive 82-38 exhibition victory over the University of Michigan-Dearborn Wolves on Nov. 2, the Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team turns their attention to their regular season opener against the Rochester College Warriors.
The Warriors are already 5-1 as of press date, with their only loss coming from another team in the Mid-American Conference, Kent State. The Warriors swept the Lambton College Tournament in Canada in October and all of their victories came by large margins; they only lost to Kent State by six points.
The Eagles got off to a quick start against U of M-Dearborn and didn’t let up. They will need to keep Rochester off balance and continue to play the decisive basketball that earned them the MAC West title last year.
Redshirt junior forward Glenn Bryant will also need to continue the scoring he did against the Wolves on Nov. 2. He led the Eagles with 21 points. Another key part of the Eagle offense was senior guard Derek Thompson who had 15 points against the Wolves.
Holding onto rebounds will be another key to EMU’s game. Senior center Matt Balkema and junior forward James Still both brought down seven boards apiece against U of M-Dearborn and the team as a whole had 39.
The Eagles also had 15 team steals against the Wolves. Redshirt junior guard Austin Harper led the team with four and Balkema added three of his own. If the team can keep the defensive pressure against Rochester, they will have a good chance of forcing the Warriors to turn the ball over.
The game against Rochester is scheduled to tip-off at noon on Nov. 9. The game also marks the beginning of the first “Ice Man” Classic. In addition to EMU and Rochester, three more teams will be taking part: Texas Pan-American University, Eastern Illinois University and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.
Come down to the Convocation Center and support the Eagles as they begin to defend their MAC West crown and enjoy some good free basketball in the “Ice Man” Classic. After EMU takes on Rochester, they take on the winner of Texas Pan-American vs. the Wolves. That game will tip off Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.