Glenn Bryant showed no signs of being bothered by a sore knee Wednesday night as the Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team beat the Buffalo University Bulls 65-46 at the Convocation Center.
“I didn’t miss any practice [all week],” Bryant said after the game. “I just taped [my knee] up and just played as hard as I could.”
Bryant finished the game with 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting. He also made 5-of-6 free throws he attempted. Bryant was also a force on defense, registering five rebounds, four blocks and a steal in 33 minutes.
Another player who made an impact for EMU (11-11, 4-4 Mid-American Conference) was redshirt junior guard Austin Harper. Scoring ten on 5-of-11 shooting off the bench, Harper was the only other Eagle in double digits. He played 23 minutes.
“I thought Austin came in off the bench and provided some offense for us,” EMU head coach Rob Murphy said. “He was able to get in the lane and create [opportunities] for himself and for others.”
For Buffalo (8-15, 3-6 MAC), Javon McCrea led the way with 15 on 5-of-11 shooting. He also made 5-of-9 from the free throw line. McCrea was one rebound shy of a double-double.
Will Regan was the only other Bull who figured in double digits. In 25 minutes, he scored 12 on 5-of-9 shooting. Regan made 2-of-4 free throws he attempted.
The Eagles did a good job shutting down offensive threat Tony Watson. Watson played all 40 minutes, but only had eight points to show for it on 2-of-4 shooting from the floor and 2-of-4 from three-point range. He also made only two free throws out of the four he attempted.
“I think Eastern did a really good job on him.” Buffalo head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. “They blocked one of his threes and I think they did a really good job on Tony.”
Bryant got things started on defense for the Eagles with two early blocks. That wasn’t good enough for him though, as he also got the first two points for the Eagles after being fouled on a layup attempt.
“Glenn Bryant’s activity to start the game defensively was great and he was able to get some buckets as well,” Murphy said.
The remainder of the first half saw both teams trading baskets. The largest lead for either team was with 6:41 remaining in the half, when EMU led 28-19.
At the break, the Eagles led 37-33.
The Eagles poured it on in the second half. Going on a 14-6 run lasting until the midway point of the half, but EMU was just getting started.
The Eagles cruised to the win, holding the Bulls to 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting in the second half.
“I thought we did a really good job tonight defensively,” Murphy said. “Any time you can hold a team to 13 points in a half, you’re doing a pretty good job defensively.”
The noticeable statistic at the end of the game was the Eagles only shooting seven three pointers and making just two of them. After the game, Murphy explained the reason for his team staying inside the line.
“Really, I thought we shot two too many,” Murphy said. “I thought we took two bad ones. Daylen Harrison…if he just took two of those back and just drive the ball, I thought that would have been a better decision.”
The Eagles travel to Toledo, Ohio Saturday to take on the University of Toledo Rockets. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be heard live on WEMU 89.1 FM.
Related: Game photo gallery