Eastern Michigan University coach Rob Murphy knows turning the ball over 20 times will not yield positive results at days’ end.
“You’re not going to beat any good team on the road turning the ball over 20 times,” Murphy said.
Murphy emphasized the turnover Raven Lee committed with less than a minute left in the second half.
“[Raven] had a big turnover instead of hitting [Karrington] in the corner for the open three,” Murphy said.
Karrington Ward’s 25 points could not get the Eagles over the hump as its losing streak moved to three games in the 69-64 loss against Purdue University at Mackey Arena on Saturday.
Purdue (8-2) shot 6-of-21 from three-point range and coach Matt Painter admitted that EMU’s 2-3 zone caused problems for his shooters.
“There is a reason why [teams] zone us and obviously EMU zones all of the time,” Painter said. “So, they tried to neutralize [our] guys and keep them out of lanes.”
Forward Glenn Bryant played with a purpose as he finished with 11 points on 3-of-3 shooting and 5-of-6 from the foul-line, along with nine rebounds after being benched by Murphy for the majority of the first half for not being active enough on the court.
In his first career start, Purdue guard Bryson Scott scored 16, on 3-of-7 shooting and 10-of-13 from the foul line.
Freshman Kendall Stephens scored a career-high 13, including three 3-ponters.
EMU (5-3) struggled to find its shot in the first 4:35, until Talley scored the first points as they trailed 5-2.
Stephens’ three-point make from the wing increased Purdue’s lead to six and forced Murphy to call timeout at the 14:49 mark.
EMU went on an 8-3 run highlighted by Sims’ pass under the basket to Bryant for the dunk to pull within one.
Both teams exchanged baskets until Purdue went on an 8-0 to go up 29-20.
The Boilermakers’ free-throw woes kept the Eagles within single digits for the remainder of the half as they shot 7-of-14 (50 percent).
Ward scored EMU’s final seven points of the half to cut the deficit to six.
“As the half wore on, we started to get looks,” Murphy said. “ [However], we continued to play up and down and did not get into any flow.”
In the first three minutes of the second half, Purdue’s lead grew to as many as 11 after Terone Johnson split a pair of free throws.
Behind Ward’s clutch shooting and Bryant’s hustle on the offensive end, the Eagles pulled to within a point with 5:44 remaining, but could not get any closer as the Scott took advantage of costly turnovers by Lee and Darell Combs and made four free throws as a result.
Forward Daylen Harrison, who played eight minutes, sat on the bench for the entire second half because of an injury suffered at practice the day before.
“[Daylen] tweaked his shoulder at practice yesterday,” Murphy said. “He couldn’t lift his shoulder, but wanted to give it a shot. He wasn’t effective, so we decided not to play him for the rest of the game.”
On Dec. 10, the Eagles welcome the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix to the Convocation Center.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The game can be heard on WEMU 89.1 FM as Chad Bush and Sean Hostetter will have the call.
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.