The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team returned to Athens, Ohio, Wednesday to play the game that was originally scheduled for Jan. 30. EMU (12-14, 5-7 Mid-American Conference) played the Ohio University Bobcats (20-6, 11-1 MAC) in front of 5,932 people at Ohio’s Convocation Center. Coming off their first road win of the year, against Ball State University, the Eagles came up short, 73-50.
Redshirt junior guard J.R. Sims led the Eagles offensively with 12 points. Senior guard Derek Thompson followed with nine and redshirt junior forward Glenn Bryant added seven.
Senior center Matt Balkema led the team defensively with six rebounds, and senior forward Jamell Harris had five.
For Ohio, Reggie Keely racked up 20 points, leading the way for the Bobcats. D.J. Cooper had a double-double with 16 points and 10 assists
T.J. Hall of Ohio was the first to score with a layup at the 18:38 mark of the first half. Bryant quickly answered with a three-pointer assisted by Sims to give EMU the lead.
With 9:37 remaining in the half, freshman guard Jalen Ross made a jumper, but the team was still down 17-5. Ohio’s Kellogg made a layup, but Sims responded with a three-pointer. Sims had another chance at a three-pointer less than a minute later, but missed.
Thompson tried to add to the score but also missed a three-point attempt.
Cooper continued Ohio’s lead with a couple of free throws after Eastern received a technical foul at the 5:43 mark. With a little more than 3:00 left in the third, junior center Da’Shonte Riley responded to a jumper by Keely with a solid dunk.
Balkema finished Eastern’s scoring in the first half with a layup with 48 seconds left. Cooper ended the scoring for the half with a three-pointer. EMU couldn’t capitalize for the remainder of the half and went into the locker room down 36-16.
Bryant was fouled early in the second half and made both free throws, cutting Ohio’s lead to 36-18. Keely answered for Ohio with a quick layup, but fouled Riley who missed both free throws.
At 18:14, Sims made a layup, which cut Ohio’s lead down to 18. Walter Offutt (Ohio) missed a three-pointer, and redshirt junior forward Daylen Harrison followed it with a good layup. After a three-pointer by Cooper, Harrison made a jumper, but Eastern still trailed 41-24.
Offutt made a layup on the fast break with the help of Cooper and 14:37 to go in the second half. Bryant responded with a layup of his own.
Ohio had a solid couple of minutes with two three-pointers by Cooper, as well as a dunk from Jon Smith. Smith had a foul at 8:52, giving Balkema a couple of free throws. He split the pair, and the Eagles still trailed by 25 points.
The last two minutes of the second half had David McKinley of Ohio getting a three-pointer. Ohio’s Nick Goff then fouled Thompson, giving the senior an opportunity at a free throw, making the score 71-50 with Ohio in the lead. Thompson then fouled Goff, giving the Bobcat two free throws, which ended the scoring for both teams.
The Eagles returned home Saturday to take part in the ESPN BracketBuster Challenge against Missouri State University. Unfortunately, the Eagles lost 57-54.