Two is shaping up to be an unlucky number for the Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team. Two conference games and two Mid-American Conference losses—both losses by two points.
Saturday’s loss was to the Bowling Green State University Falcons, 46-44.
Seven is another number that is haunting the Eagles. The team has seven wins on the year (in 16 games), they are 0-7 on the road and there was seven seconds left on the clock when BGSU’s Jordon Crawford buried a three-pointer to send the Eagles (7-9, 0-2 MAC) home.
One Eagle scored in double digits Saturday: Senior guard Derek Thompson scored 11 points in 28 minutes. Thompson shot 3-of-11 (27.2 percent) from the floor and 2-of-6 (33.3 percent) from three point range. He also made 3-of-4 (75 percent) from the free-throw line.
For the Falcons (6-9, 1-1 MAC), two players were able to score more than 10 points. A’uston Calhoun scored 17 points in 36 minutes and Crawford scored 11 in 39 minutes.
The Eagles led for the first 9:30 of the game. It took a three-pointer from Crawford to give Bowling Green a 11-10 lead, but redshirt junior forward Daylen Harrison answered right back with a jumper, giving the Eagles the 12-11 advantage.
Both teams exchanged baskets for the remainder of the half. The Eagles entered the break with a 25-20 advantage over the Falcons.
In the first 20 minutes, the Eagles shot 10-of-32 (31.3 percent) from the floor, 2-of-4 (50 percent) from three-point range and 3-of-4 (75 percent) from the free-throw line.
From field goal range, the Falcons shot little better, with 9-of-28 (32.1 percent). The major difference came from long distance. The Falcons made only 1-of-9 three-pointers. The team also made the only free throw it attempted.
The Falcons started the second half on fire. The team went on a 9-0 run over the first five minutes of the half capped off with a fast-break dunk by Calhoun.
Thompson put the Eagles back in the game after being fouled by Cameron Black, he made both of his free throws. He then capitalized on a rebound and assist from freshman guard Jalen Ross, sending home a three-pointer of his own, giving the team a 30-29 lead with 13:33 to go.
Black put BGSU back on top with a layup, but senior center Matt Balkema got on the board with one of his own and again gave the Eagles a one point lead.
With 11:51 to go, Thompson sunk another jumper, making the Eagle lead 34-31, but Anthony Henderson squashed it with a three-pointer 36 seconds later.
Both teams exchanged blows over the next nine minutes. Thompson gave the Eagles the lead for the final time with a free throw.
Ahead 44-41, the Eagles were unable to get the job done. A layup from Calhoun brought BGSU within a point at the 1:48 mark of the half and then Crawford ended it with seven ticks left.
The Eagles return home Tuesday to take on the Central Michigan University Chippewas. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center. The game will be broadcast on WEMU 89.1 FM.