The Eastern Michigan University men’s basketball team earned a 56-50 win against Mid-American Conference rival Ball State University (10-14, 4-8 MAC) Saturday at Worthen Arena in Muncie, Ind.
After a tough 70-62 loss Wednesday to the University of Akron, the Eagles turned their attention to Ball State, hoping to earn their first win away from the Convocation Center this year.
Redshirt junior forward Glenn Bryant led the Eagles (12-13, 5-6 MAC) with a career-high 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the floor. He also made one of his three-pointer attempts, went 3-of-5 from the free-throw line and had four rebounds. His previous high was 17 points, which he scored in the game against the University of Buffalo.
Redshirt junior guard J.R. Sims, in a rare start for the Eagles, had an outstanding game. He scored a season-high 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor. He also made 4-of-5 three-pointers he attempted and missed the two free throws he attempted. His season high was 12 points, from both the University of Massachusetts game and the following game against Ball State University.
Redshirt junior guard Austin Harper helped out in scoring, with six points on 2-of-3 from the floor and 2-of-3 from the free-throw line.
Also, with a rare appearance in the starting lineup, redshirt junior guard Anthony Strickland pulled down a team-high five rebounds.
Senior guard Derek Thompson was back on the floor Saturday after missing the last game. He was 0-for-2 from the floor and missed his only three-point attempt in four minutes of playing time.
For Ball State, senior guard Jauwan Scaife led with 21 points and junior forward Majok Majok led with 16 rebounds.
The first half of the game had EMU playing catch-up after Ball State junior forward Chris Bond opened the scoring with a layup. Bryant had a chance at a three-pointer to get the Eagles on the board, but missed. Strickland got the first points for the team after a good free throw with 17:49 remaining in the half.
The rest of the half was a back and forth affair between the two teams.
Sims brought the Eagles to just four points away at 9:45 with a layup. With a little less than 3:30 left in the first half, Bryant tied up the score with a jumper assisted by senior forward Jamell Harris.
With 2:28 to go in the half, Sims hit a three-pointer, putting the Eagles up 22-21. Harris added to the lead with a dunk. Ball State freshman guard Chase Brogna made a three-pointer with 56
seconds to go in the half, and both teams went into the locker room tied at 24-24.
Bryant started the second half with two good free throws, giving EMU the 26-24 lead. After a missed layup and a turnover, Bryant had the ball again and made a jumper.
Da’Shonte Riley got into quick foul trouble, committing two in less than two minutes, and Marcus Posley and Majok had a total of four free throws in nearly a minute.
Sims added to EMU’s score with a three-pointer. With less than six minutes left in the second half, Harper added two points in free throws, locking EMU up 44-34. Sims, Harper, Bryant and freshman guard Jalen Ross rounded off the scoring for the Eagles for the rest of the game. Sims ended the game with a solid dunk, shutting down the game and giving EMU its first road win of the year.
EMU’s next game is in Athens, Ohio against Ohio University on Wednesday. The Eagles are back home Saturday when they take on Missouri State.