The Eastern Michigan men’s basketball team defeated the visiting Marygrove College 83-52 Monday to extend its record to 7-0 on the season. The start is EMU’s best since the 1995-96 season.
“We are pretty excited for 7-0,” EMU coach Rob Murphy said. “We are very fortunate to have our best start in so long. I had a vision when I took this job that this is where I wanted this program to be at this point, and we are there and we have the guys that want to win.”
The first half ended with the Eagles leading 47-18, but missing shots was an issue throughout the half. EMU converted 17-of-41 field goals, good for only a 41.5 percent shooting, including 5-for-17 from the three point line.
“We were pretty up and down on offense throughout the game,” Murphy said. “We were getting shots and missing them, but were able to get a lot of opportunities to finish with scores.”
Guards Raven Lee and Mike Talley weren’t plagued by missed shots, as Lee hit 4-of-5 shots and Talley made 3-of-4 off the bench, each leading the team with eight points in the first half. Lee played sparsely in the second half and finished with the eight points from the first half while Talley finished with 10 points.
Center Mike Samuels finished with his first career double-double, recording 11 points and 10 rebounds.
The focus for much of the game was on getting the bench involved more, and 43 points were scored from the bench. Trent Perry made three three-point baskets to lead the way with nine points while Brandon Nazione followed suit with eight points and four rebounds off the bench.
“Yeah, we were able to get guys off the bench and get a lot of minutes in,” Murphy said. “I always tell the guys that it is all about fun, and we as an entire team had a lot of it this evening.”
The Eagles will next face their first road test of the season, traveling to Dayton, Ohio to face the Flyers of the University of Dayton. The Flyers are coming off a trip to the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament last March.
“It will be tough, that is a very good basketball team,” Murphy said. “I made an emphasis that we win at home and steal some on the road, and this will be a great test to see where we are at and to get that great road test.”
Tipoff will be 2 p.m. Saturday from Dayton.