The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team ended 2012 on a positive note Friday afternoon with a commanding 87-49 victory against the Siena Heights University Saints. Friday’s matchup was the first between the teams.
Senior guard Derek Thompson led the Eagles (7-5) in scoring with 17 points. Christmas came late for the Eagles as they had a total of four players who scored in the double digits. Redshirt junior forwards Daylen Harrison and Glenn Bryant also made an impact, scoring 15 and 13 points respectively. Senior center Da’Shonte Riley rounded out the high scorers with 10 points.
For the Saints (4-11), Ryan Hopson was the only player to score in double digits. He scored 11 points.
The Eagles came out swinging. Senior forward Jamell Harris started the team off with a layup. Harrison then stole the ball from the Saints’ Javon Flowers and got the ball to Riley who made a jumper of his own. This scoring set off a 14-0 run for the Eagles over the first 5:15 of the game.
Up 14-2, the Eagles then turned to the three-pointer. Thompson made his first with 11:37 to go in the half and after Donovan Campbell made one for Siena Heights, Thompson made another with 10:55 left to give the Eagles the 20-5 lead.
The Eagles were up 23-8 with a little over eight minutes to go in the half when redshirt junior guard Austin Harper got on the board. He stole the ball from Zane Tobin and took it all the way for a layup, giving the Eagles a 25-8 lead.
The Eagles maintained their lead all throughout the half, taking a 47-16 lead into the break. The Eagles shot 18 for 31 (58.1 percent) from the floor, including 3 of 7 (42.9 percent) from three-point range. The team was also 8 for 12 (66.7 percent) from the free throw line.
On the flip side, the Saints shot 6 for 26 (23.1 percent) from the floor and 3 of 11 (27.3 percent) from beyond the arc. The Saints also made one of the two free throws the team shot.
The Eagles scored right away to begin the second half. Harrison, after missing a jumper, pulled down the offensive rebound and scored, increasing the team’s lead to 49-16. This started a 15-6 run capped off by a Harrison three pointer with 13:14 to go.
Up 64-29 with 10:19 to go, the Eagles again turned to Thompson who made a three, giving the Eagles a 67-29 lead. The team did not let up: Zane made another three for the Saints, but Thompson answered with another shot from long distance with 8:36 to go, making the lead 70-32.
The Eagles then put the nail in the coffin. Following two dunks from Bryant and one from sophomore guard Josh Lyle, the Saints were finished. Siena Heights tried to put a comeback together, but the Eagles were too much, cruising to a 38-point victory.
The Eagles end the calendar year with a 7-1 record at the Convocation Center. The team next takes on the University of Kentucky Wednesday in Lexington, Ky.
The game can be found on ESPNU for those watching at home. If you don’t have cable, the game will also be on WEMU 89.1 FM. As always, the results can be found right here at www.easternecho.com or on Twitter (
TheEasternEcho or AlWillmanEcho).
Have a safe and happy New Year and see you in 2013.