On Thursday, the Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team became the University of Michigan Wolverines’ 12th victim, dropping a 93-54 contest at Crisler Arena. This defeat marks the fourth loss for the Eagles, all of them coming away from the Convocation Center. The Wolverines improved to a perfect 12-0.
Trey Burke got the Wolverines off to a quick start. Following his steal from freshman point guard Jalen Ross, Burke made a fast-break jumper to put the Wolverines up 2-0. After EMU redshirt junior forward Glenn Bryant missed a three-point attempt, senior forward Jamell Harris pulled down the rebound and fed the ball to Ross, who made a three-point attempt of his own.
Ross’ three proved to give the Eagles their only lead of the game. Wolverine Nik Stauskas missed a three-point attempt and Bryant pulled down the rebound and was able to make a three, assisted by Ross. The Eagles led 6-2 with 18:19 left in the first half. The Eagles would not have another lead in the game.
The Wolverines tried to answer with another three-point attempt, this time from Burke, but they missed. EMU junior center Da’Shonte Riley was able to come up with the rebound, but Bryant turned the ball over. Jordan Morgan was able to put away a jumper in the paint for the Wolverines, cutting the EMU lead to 6-4.
After Daylen Harrison’s missed jumper at the 17:07 mark, Tim Hardaway Jr. of the Wolverines took the rebound and passed to Glenn Robinson III who tied it with 16:36 to go, spelling the end of EMU’s only lead of the contest.
For the next minute, it was all about missed shots and turnovers, as neither team was able to put any additional points on the board. Following the media timeout, Burke was able to put the Wolverines ahead for good with a jumper.
After Burke’s bucket, the Wolverines began to run away with the game. Bryant fouled Morgan, who made both his free throws and put Michigan up by four. Stauskas then made his first three of the contest and Hardaway followed up with one as well. Hardaway added a layup with 12:10 to go, making the score 20-6 Wolverines.
The Wolverines turned on the afterburners and took a 40-24 lead into the half, largely in part due to the team’s 6-13 (46.2 percent) shooting from three-point range, as opposed to EMU’s 3-10 (30 percent). After the game, EMU head coach Rob Murphy made no bones about the Wolverines’ early three-point shooting.
“I thought early on, Michigan hit some early three point shots … They started hitting every shot they took,” Murphy said. “We didn’t do a great job of guarding the three-point line.”
The second half was just as bad as the first for EMU. After an EMU foul on Riley, Morgan started off the scoring for Michigan with two consecutive buckets. Bryant then fouled Stauskas with 17:47 to go. Stauskas made one of his two free throws, putting the Wolverines up 45-24.
After Stauskas missed a three with 17:04 to go, Bryant brought down a commanding dunk for what was arguably the high point of the game for the Eagles. EMU tried a couple different times to get back into the game, but the Wolverines answered right back.
The Wolverines, having taken control of the game early, never let up and easily beat the Eagles by 39 points.
The Eagles were led in scoring by Harrison, who scored 13 points and also had four rebounds and two assists. Bryant added ten points and also brought down four rebounds. Sophomore guard Antoine Chandler added eight points off the bench.
After the game, Ross made it a point to mention Harrison’s play against Michigan.
“The past three or four games, he’s [Harrison] been struggling,” Ross said. “Tonight I felt like he just came out and played his game.”
The Wolverines had five players who scored in double digits. Hardaway led the team with 17 points, but Stauskas (16), Robinson (13), Burke (11) and Mitch McGary (10) all featured prominently in the scoring.
The Eagles return home Saturday for their next game against Oakland University. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Convocation Center. The results can be found at www.easternecho.com or on Twitter TheEasternEcho and AlWillmanEcho.