Bryant III’s dominating first half leads Eagles past the Falcons

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Glenn Bryant III came off the bench and led Eastern Michigan University for the second straight game Wednesday night.

After leading the Eagles with 14 points in Saturday’s loss to Ohio University, the redshirt senior forward checked in 5:50 into the first half to begin his career-high 26-point game.

“I feel like I had a pretty good game against (Ohio) and I just wanted to bounce back and help my team get a win [tonight],” Bryant III said.

His performance propelled the Eagles 69-57 win over Bowling Green State University at the Convocation Center, ending the team’s two-game losing skid and bumping them up to second in the Mid-American Conference West Division at 4-3 (12-8 overall).

“Glenn came in with a certain level of focus tonight— with a certain level of energy— and the rest of our team fed off of it,” EMU coach Rob Murphy said. “His energy overall and his ability to be confident on offense helped propel us to a lead going into halftime.”

Bryant III had 21 points at the end of the first half, which already surpassed his previous career game-high of 20 he scored Feb. 16, 2013 at Ball State. 10 rebounds, including seven offensive, locked him in for his second double-double of the season.

BGSU (9-11, 3-4 MAC) received an offensive spark from junior forward Richaun Holmes, who put up 20 points. He shot 4-of-5 from the field with 11 points in the first half to keep the Falcons within striking distance heading into halftime trailing 39-29.

“Anytime you’re playing against a great player, they find ways to be effective,” Murphy said. “We got him to miss enough shots, to rebound the ball to get us out in transition. He had a really good game but our guys collectively did a great job surrounding him and making it tough on him to continue to score.”

The Falcons leaned on junior guard Anthony Henderson (12 points) and sophomore forward Spencer Parker (10 points) when Holmes wasn’t an option. The two shot a combined 8-of-20 from the field.

EMU used fast-break points to establish a small lead early after a layup from guard Raven Lee put the Eagles up 5-2. Lee had 10 points on the night.

After a dunk by Holmes and a jumper by Parker pushed the Falcons back ahead 9-5, guard Mike Talley hit a three-pointer to fuse an 11-0 run for the Eagles, which included a massive slam from Bryant III.

“For (Ray Lee) to get double-digits with the struggles he’s had, I thought that was great to see,” Murphy said. “Mike Talley did a great job overall running the team tonight making good passes, scoring when he had his opportunities.”

BGSU’s second half field-goal percentage dropped by .132 from the first half, which stopped it from making any runs at a potential comeback. The Falcons were also 64.3 percent from the free-throw line, 19 percent lower than the first half.

A layup from guard Jehvon Clarke brought the Falcons within five with 14 minutes to play, but seven unanswered points from the Eagles allowed them to re-cushion the lead over a span of 4:52.

Game Notes:

Game attendance was announced at 601.

The Eagles completed the season sweep on BGSU. They won earlier this season 56-51 in Bowling Green at the Stroh Center.

Bryant III shot 8-for-14 from the field in the first half, while he took 41.2 percent of EMU’s field goal attempts.

Bryant III had 26 of the Eagles’ 28 bench points.

The Falcons had two points off the bench.

Holmes led the Falcons in points in the teams’ first game this season, as well (17 points).

BGSU went on a 7:21 scoreless streak in the second half (from 14:00 to 6:39).

Falcons’ forward Spencer Parker was given a flagrant I with 5:31 left in the second half after fouling EMU guard Mike Talley.

Eastern Michigan shot 40.0 percent from the field to Bowling Green’s 35.7 percent.

Looking Ahead:

The Eagles travel down south and visit the Miami University Redhawks 8-10 (4-3 MAC) Saturday Feb. 1 for a 3 p.m. tip-off at John D. Millett Hall. After that, they go down to Akron University Wednesday Feb. 5 for a 7 p.m. tip-off at James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron. Ohio.

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Follow Derrick on Twitter @derrickvergo


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