For the second time in six days, Eastern Michigan University and the University of Toledo will play each other.
Only this time, it will be at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Head coach Rob Murphy knows the tough task ahead for Eastern after allowing a conference season-high 77 to Toledo in an 11-point loss at Savage Arena on March 8.
“[Toledo] does a great job in getting the ball in areas where they can be successful,” Murphy said. “Anytime you can put five guys on the floor and are all offensive threats, it is extremely dangerous.”
As the Eagles’ sixth man, senior forward Glenn Bryant’s leadership on the floor has been prevalent in the tournament thus far and will be counted on against the Rockets.
“[Glenn] is a huge piece, but so as our other guys,” Murphy said.
Bryant has averaged 10.5 points, 2.5 blocks and 5.0 rebounds in his last two games.
All Mid-American Conference Third Team honoree Karrington Ward is the Eagles’ leading scorer averaging 12.9. In the last meeting against UT, Ward scored 20 on 8-of-14 shooting and went 4-for-5 from long distance.
Toledo’s Julius Brown is the player to watch for as he leads the team in points with an average of 14.8. Brown scored 13 points and dished out seven assists against Eastern last Saturday.
Top Offense vs. Top Defense:
Toledo comes into tonight’s semifinal as the top scoring offense in the MAC averaging 80.6, while Eastern leads the conference in scoring defense with 61.4.
EMU and UT have split both meetings this season (EMU over Toledo 65-44, Feb. 15 and Toledo over EMU 77-66, March 8).
Tonight’s winner will advance to Saturday’s championship game to face top seed Western Michigan University or No. 4 seed the University of Akron.
No. 6 Eastern Michigan (21-13) vs. No. 2 Toledo (26-5)
Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Time: Tonight, 9 p.m.
TV: Time-Warner Cable SportsChannel Ohio
Radio: WEMU 89.1 FM (Commentators: Chad Bush and Sean Hostetter)
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.