In front of 20,822 fans, the Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team fell to No. 4-ranked Syracuse University Orange 84-48 Monday.
Despite a thunderous alley-oop by Rakeem Christmas of Syracuse to open the scoring, the game actually started in favor of the Eagles.
They led by as much as seven points early on and by a score of 12-10 with 9:14 to go in the first half. However, this was the last lead of the game for the Eagles.
From there on out, it was all Orange as they proceeded to outscore the Eagles by a 74-36 margin in the final 30 minutes.
Syracuse went on multiple runs in the first half, including a 12-2
run to take and extend the lead to 22-14 and a 10-0 run to end the half; they led at halftime 35-17.
Things didn’t improve for the Eagles in the second half.
The teams traded buckets at the start of the second, led by a pair of threes from Derek Thompson for the Eagles and dunks by DaJuan Coleman and Jerami Grant for the Orange.
Holding onto a 49-31 advantage, the Orange then went on an 8-0 run which extended the lead to 57-31.
This theme continued throughout the second half. The Orange ripped off runs of 7-0 and a 12-2 run to finish the game. In fact, for the last six minutes of the game, the Orange outscored the Eagles by a 16-4 margin.
The Eagles were outscored 49-31 in the second half.
Bright spots for the Eagles included redshirt junior forward Glenn Bryant, who put up a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Thompson, who chipped in 18 points along with three assists.
No one else scored more than three points for the Eagles.
Syracuse, led by Coleman who grabbed five rebounds to go along with 14 points on 5-6 shooting, featured a balanced attack that had five players score in double digits and six players pull down at least five rebounds.
The Eagles, struggling against the infamous Syracuse zone defense, only managed to shoot 18 for 61 (29.5 percent) from the floor, which included a 4-19 mark on three point attempts.
The Orange, meanwhile, did not shoot efficiently either, finishing at 30 for 68 (44.1 percent) and 5 for 22 on three-pointers. They started off slowly, only shooting 11 for 31 (35.5 percent) in the first half, but turned up the heat to the tune of a 19 for 37 (51.2 percent) performance after the break.
The Eagles were outrebounded by a 50-37 tally and out-assisted by a 19-10 count. The Orange also led in blocks 10-7 and steals 19-10, and forced 24 turnovers.
The game ended a four-game winning streak for the Eagles, who now sit at 5-2. They welcome Purdue to the Convocation Center Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. The game will be shown on ESPN3 and broadcast on WEMU 89.1.