Junior guard Raven Lee led the Eastern Michigan men’s basketball team to its second straight 4-0 start with a 70-62 win over the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
Lee finished with 25 points, including 15 in the second half to lead the Eagles in scoring.
“I was taking more late night workouts over the summer.” Lee said. “I also have more experience than last year. I’ve seen almost every defense, and I knew how to take advantage tonight.”
EMU struggled the first seven minutes of the game, going down 8-6 with Lee responsible for all the points early on.
Senior forward Karrington Ward drained a three-pointer at the 14:39 mark in the first half to give the Eagles their first lead of the contest at 9-8, a lead that EMU would not give up for the rest of the game. Ward finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, good for his third double-double on the early season.
UNCG kept the score close throughout the entire first half, but EMU outscored the Spartans 21-11, including a small 6-0 run to end the half on a high note for the Eagles to go into the locker room leading 30-19.
“I thought we did a good job in the first half.” EMU coach Rob Murphy said. “We were able to get the lead and be able to keep building on it to close the half.”
The Spartans came out in the second half with an 8-2 run to cut the Eagles lead at 32-27, but the rally quickly ended after a 20-8 run by the Eagles led by Lee and senior guard Mike Talley to run the score to 52-36. Talley also finished with a good offensive performance, finishing with 17 points, with 91 percent shooting.
“I wanted us to score more in the second half.” Murphy said. “We were unselfish in passing and found shots to make, missed too many open shots I think and can’t have that too often, but I was happy with how we were able to score more in the second half.”
UNCG finished strong, able to cut the lead to single digits, but ultimately ran out of time for more of a rally.
“I didn’t like the way we finished tonight.” Murphy said. “But we don’t have our closers right now, and we were still able to close it out. We have some young talent, and closing will be easier as the season goes on.”
EMU will next host Longwood College on Sunday as part of the EMU showcase this weekend. Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m.