The Eastern Michigan men’s basketball team remained undefeated to start the regular season – a scrappy 71-62 win over Youngstown State University Friday night at the Convocation Center.
The game was part of the EMU Showcase.
Karrington Ward led the Eagles (3-0) with a double-double - 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Ray Lee and Anali Okoloji each scored 16.
“I think they did a phenomenal job on offense,” Ward said.
Bobby Hain scored 15 points for the Penguins (1-2).
Three other Youngstown State players were in double digits - Jalon Plummer (13), Marcus Keene (12) and Shawn Amiker (10).
“I thought today Youngstown [State] did a great job with mixing things up,” EMU coach Rob Murphy said. “[They’re] a very scrappy team – good in transition.”
The first half was close for both teams. EMU held an eight point lead with 14:26 remaining. The Eagles trailed for much of the final 5:25 of the first half, but managed to tie the score three times in the final two minutes – going in to the break even with the Penguins.
Murphy said his team had trouble finding a rhythm in the first half – having to adjust to Youngstown State’s play during transition at the break.
The Eagles came out swinging in the second half – going on a 8-2 run in the first 2:18 on three pointers from Ward and Okoloji.
The Penguins came right back – leading 50-48 with 11:40 left in the half.
Both teams traded buckets for the majority of the half – but the Eagles pulled away in the final two minutes – sealed by a three pointer from Okoloji with 1:17 left.
“I just read it and saw Ray [Lee] come off of it and said I was open,” he said. “I just got it and I shot it.”
News and notes
Mike Talley fouled out with 2:01 left in regulation.
Other games in the Showcase
Longwood University 81, University of North Carolina-Greensboro 79 (OT)
The Eagles continue the Showcase with a matchup against UNCG Saturday night.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.