To say Raven Lee has experienced an up and down season is an understatement.
After averaging 9.2 points per game in his previous six games, Lee came back with a vengeance scoring 24 in Eastern Michigan University’s 73-62 win on the road against Ball State University Wednesday night at John E. Worthen Arena in Muncie, Ind.
Lee’s 24 is the most scored in a single game since he put up 38 against the University of Texas-Arlington on Nov. 23, 2013.
After failing to score double figures in three previous games, Mike Talley bounced back with 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting and 7-for-9 from the foul line to go along with four assists.
Although Da’Shonte Riley failed to score a point, he stuffed the stat sheet with six blocks, five rebounds and three steals in 28 minutes.
“I thought Eastern Michigan played a really good game,” Ball State head coach James Whitford said on ballstatesports.com. “They got to the line 32 times and, credit to them, they really attacked us off the dribble. To me that was the difference in the game.”
For Ball State (4-18, 1-10 Mid-American Conference West), Jesse Berry led the way with 17 points on 5-of-10 from three-point range and added a layup.
Despite turning the ball over five times, Zavier Turner finished with 15 points and a game-high eight assists.
EMU (14-10, 6-5 MAC West) controlled the tempo for most of the first half even though no team led by double digits.
Tied at 25 with 4:59 left, EMU went on a 10-4 run for the remainder of the half to go into halftime with a six-point advantage.
The first 8:27 of the second half was controlled by Eastern as its lead grew to 48-38 until a three-point make from Kindon Crowder started a BSU 7-2 run forcing head coach Rob Murphy to call a 30 second timeout with 9:28 left in regulation.
When things appeared to start crumbling for the Eagles, they rose to the occasion and went on a 12-5 run to go up 62-50 with 5:24 left and would not look back.
J.R. Sims made his return to the EMU rotation after a 10-game absence due to an academic issue.
Eastern Michigan won back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 18 at Central Michigan University.
The attendance for the game was listed at 2411.
On Feb. 15, EMU returns home to take on the University of Toledo at the Convocation Center.
Toledo currently sits atop the MAC West at 9-2 and 21-3 overall.
The Rockets took care of business at home by avenging one of their two losses in MAC play against Ohio University, 82-76 on Wednesday night.
Rian Peterson led Toledo with 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting, two three-point makes and a split from the foul line (3-for-6).
ESPN Bracketology expert Joe Lunardi currently has Toledo projected to be in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament as the No. 12 seed (South Region).
Tip-of is scheduled for 2 p.m. as Chad Bush and Sean Hostetter will have the call on WEMU 89.1 FM with coverage beginning at 1:50 p.m.
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.
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