Despite leading by eight points with 15 minutes left in the second half, Eastern Michigan University (9-6, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) could not hang on as it dropped one to the University at Buffalo, 76-66 on Saturday at Alumni Arena.
Head coach Rob Murphy knows this one could have been a winnable affair, but knows it can be difficult to succeed on the road.
“On the road, it is always tough,” Murphy said after the game on emueagles.com. “We had the game and it was still in the balance midway through the second half. We could not find ways to stop (Buffalo).”
In his seventh game as a starter this season, Glenn Bryant put together his first double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Mike Talley continues to assert himself as the primary point guard with 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting and 7-for-10 from the foul line along with six assists.
“(Mike) does a great job of pushing the ball and getting other guys shots,” Murphy said. “What he did today was good, but not enough (for a victory).”
For Buffalo (8-4, 2-0 MAC), Jarryn Skeete led the way with 19 points on 5-of-11 from the field, 4-for-7 from three-point range, and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line.
Javon McCrea finished with his sixth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The first half saw both teams trade leads multiple times as the score was 30-30 at halftime.
EMU came out hot in the second half as they scored the first five points and looked to be in control.
Around the 15-minute mark, the Eagles lead would grow to as many as eight at 45-37, but the Bulls would even the game at 48 with 10:42 left in regulation.
EMU was unable to retake the lead as Buffalo’s lead grew to as much as 12 and would go on to win the game.
With the loss, EMU is now 2-5 on the road season.
On Jan. 14, EMU returns to the Convocation Center to take on fellow MAC rival Western Michigan University.
WMU (9-5, 2-0 MAC) defeated Miami University 78-77 in overtime on Jan. 10.
David Brown made the go-ahead free throw with two seconds left in overtime to increase the Broncos’ winning streak to four.
The teams last met on March 14, 2013 in the MAC Tournament Quarterfinal where the Eagles’ season ended at the hands of the Broncos, 70-55.
Tip-off is scheduled at 7 p.m. with Chad Bush, Greg Steiner, and Sean Hostetter on commentary for WEMU 89.1 FM.
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.