The Eastern Michigan men’s basketball team’s 89-77 win over Oakland University Monday night at the Convocation Center was the second win by the Eagles in as many years over the Grizzlies.
Eastern’s 89 points is also the most since Rob Murphy was hired in 2011.
“They just outplayed us,” Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. “[They] out hustled us, played harder, out coached us. [They] out everythinged us.”
He added: “You [the media] were watching it – tell me that’s not true. Tell me they didn’t play harder than we did. Tell me we cared. We didn’t care.”
Murphy said the Oakland team that came to play was a talented one and he didn’t want his team to get ahead of itself.
“This team we beat here is a very good mid-major team from top to bottom and they’re well coached,” he said. “You take this win in stride and you don’t get ahead of yourself. You just keep working. We’re happy with where we are right now.”
Ray Lee was the leading scorer for the Eagles (2-0). He had 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting (3-of-6 from three-point range).
Karrington Ward added 22 points and 12 rebounds – his first double-double of the season.
“Those guys were very very confident offensively,” Murphy said.
Kampe had a different answer.
“I saw two really good players – realized nobody was guarding them and they can do whatever they want,” he said. “That’s basically what I saw.”
Lee – a player Murphy said he wanted to be more consistent – shared his thoughts about his performance.
“I was just in the rhythm of the game,” he said.
Max Hooper had 18 points for the Grizzlies (0-2) – all from three-point range.
“He can shoot – it’s a zone,” Kampe said. “He’s going to get some shots. He finally made some.”
Three other OU players were in double digits – Kahlil Felder and Tom McCune (15), and Corey Petros (13).
Petros had a double-double - adding 10 rebounds.
Eastern went on a 12-2 run midway through the first half, taking a 26-13 lead – its largest lead of the half.
Oakland outscored EMU 23-16 in the last 6:47, but the Eagles maintained the three point lead at the break.
OU took its first lead of the game with 17:00 left in the second half on a three from Hooper.
The second half was hotly contested, but the Eagles pulled away in the last two minutes – leading 87-77 with a minute left.
Kampe said he was disappointed with the way his defense played down the stretch.
“I’ve had two knee replacements and a ruptured Achilles’ [tendon] and the way we play I’m not sure I would be hard to defend,” he said.
News and notes
Anali Okoloji was assessed a technical foul with 16:17 remaining in regulation.
McCune fouled out for Oakland with 4:49 remaining in the second half.
Hayes fouled out for Oakland with 2:25 remaining in the second half.
Official attendance: 863
The Eagles take on Youngstown State University on Friday.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Follow Al Willman on Twitter: @AlWillmanEcho